Accepted 23th June, 2016
Achieving food security is a global goal and concern. Efforts have been made by various governments, organizations and individuals to achieve this but met with little success even though the best of technologies are available. This paper brings to mind a salient but neglected area against achieving global food security – COMMUNAL CONFLICTS. This study therefore investigates the effects of communal conflicts on achieving food security in Southeast, Nigeria. The specific objectives of this research were; to describe the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents, to examine the causes of communal conflict in the area, to ascertain the effects of communal conflicts on food production, and to suggest strategies for communal conflict management. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 150 respondents affected by communal conflicts in Southeast, Nigeria. Data were collected with the aid of a questionnaire and analyzed using percentages and mean. The findings revealed that the mean age of the farmers was 43years. Majority of the farmers (58%) were males. The result indicated that land dispute, Ezeship tussle (traditional ruler), counter claims to lands, poverty, unemployment etc were the causes of communal conflicts. The effects on food production and security included loss of lives, increased hunger, farmland abandonment, labour migration, poor yield, malnutrition, poor savings, displacement of people, increase in transportation costs, increased prices of produce and others. This study therefore recommends among others equitable distribution of land, demarcation of boundary, employment opportunities, public education/enlightenment to reduce the adverse effects of communal conflicts.
Keywords: Food security, communal conflicts, farming households, Southeast, Nigeria.