Manu Yusuf Bobbo , Tsi Angwafo Evaristus
International Journal of Horticulture, Agriculture and Food science(IJHAF), Vol-4,Issue-6, November - December 2020, Pages 205-215, 10.22161/ijhaf.4.6.2
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Article Info: Received: 02 Nov 2020; Received in revised form: 07 Dec 2020; Accepted: 18 Dec 2020; Available online: 26 Dec 2020
This study sets to contribute to conflicts resolution through an understanding of how conflicts over land influence food security and rural livelihoods in Mezam. Land conflicts often have extensive negative effects on economic, social, spatial and ecological development. This is especially true in Mezam division, where land market institutions are weak, opportunities for economic gain by illegal action are widespread and many poor people lack access to land. Data were collected using a semi structured questionnaire and focus group discussions were organized where possible. A total of 200 questionnaires were administered to both farmers and grazers in Mezam, Santa, Bali, Tubah and Bafut. These were done through face to face interviews, discussion with graziers and farmers representatives, focus groups as well as field observation so as to permit us carry out an ample information from the field and have an in-depth study of the conflict situation in Mezam. These data were introduced into SPSS version 24.0 and analyzed using descriptive statistics, frequencies, charts and graphs. Common conflicts recorded in the area in Mezam are farmer-grazer conflicts and land ownership. Regarding the effects of conflicts on food security, 60% of respondents attested disruption of livestock activities and food production cycle, 52.5% mentioned shortages in food supply resulting to high prices in the local markets. Conflicts also resulted to the flee of the local farm labour force. It was also found out that conflicts affected rural development projects in the study area such as micro credit institutions, bridges, roads, electrification projects, storage facilities, markets and portable water. Dialogue platforms as one of the best means to mitigate conflicts related to tenure conflicts and ensure food safety in the warring communities. This will facilitate communication between the villagers in the affected areas and improve on food production and accessibility. It was suggested that one of the ways to resolve tenure conflicts in the area was for the administrative authorities to demarcate boundaries or map out farm and grazing lands between the various villages and also facilitate the process of issuing land titles. This was to legally redefine and practically demarcate the boundaries between grazing and farm lands within the conflict hot spots in Mezam division. It was concluded that tenure conflicts are a result of the expansionist and dominant tendencies of some groups of individuals, a community as well as certain influential elites’ over land in the area. Tenure problems in the region in particular are related to the lack of documentary evidence (land titles and certificates). Looking at the existing policies, legal and institutional framework discussed in this study, I can say that I have been able to identify some commissions and policies put in place by the Government of Cameroon governing land administration and management that is sufficient in strengthening the tenure security of the local population in Mezam if respected and put in practice. It was also recommended that the administrative authorities should facilitate the issuing of land titles to the local population and demarcate farming and grazing lands between villages.