Vol. 8 No. 1 (2024)
Peer Reviewed Articles

Socio-Ecological Drivers of the Pastoralist–Farmer Conflict in Nigeria’s Mid-Benue Trough: Introducing the Ethnicity Dimension

Chukwudi Njoku
University of Calabar
Joel Efiong
University of Calabar
Stefano Moncada
University of Malta

Published 2023-11-02 — Updated on 2024-01-17


  • Conflict,
  • Pastoralist,
  • Farmer,
  • ethnicity,
  • Mid-Benue Trough,
  • conflict lethality
  • ...More

How to Cite

Njoku, Chukwudi, Joel Efiong, and Stefano Moncada. 2024. “Socio-Ecological Drivers of the Pastoralist–Farmer Conflict in Nigeria’s Mid-Benue Trough: Introducing the Ethnicity Dimension”. The Journal of Population and Sustainability 8 (1):35-69. https://doi.org/10.3197/JPS.63799953906872.


It is not clear how different social, demographic, economic and ecological factors influence the prevalence and lethality of pastoralistfarmer conflicts in Nigeria’s Mid-Benue Trough. This study introduces the ethnicity dimension alongside factors such as climate change, economic development, population density, political violence and terrorism. Data originates from secondary sources, and multinomial regression is used to model significant effects. The results suggest that ethnicity has a greater impact on the lethality of conflicts than other factors (0.038, x2 = 16.339). Further results show that lethal pastoralist-farmer conflict incidents occur in areas directly affected by climate change (87.4 per cent), with low levels of economic development (77.3 per cent) and low population density (58.9 per cent). The study highlights the effect of the multi-ethnic nature of the area as a main driver of lethal conflicts. Solutions for actions are therefore discussed for consideration by relevant authorities in efforts to integrate the ethnic diversity of the area into policy.


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