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Weather events associated with climate change – global warming, floods and others – are economically costly and are getting more common with time. It is important to know effective adaptive measures for these problems. In Africa, herder-farmer conflict is a growing problem linked to climate change. Herders seasonally move to places for the sustenance of their animals. They usually feed the animals crop residues on farmlands after the final crop harvest. However, violent conflicts often occur with the farmers when the herders are forced to graze animals on farmlands prior to the harvest. Ekiti is one of several states in Nigeria to adopt anti-open grazing law in 2016 that bans open grazing and promotes ranching. In my dissertation, I provide some of first empirical evidence on the effects of Ekiti’s anti-open grazing law.

In Chapter 1, I examine the effect of Ekiti’s law on conflict in Ekiti and its neighboring state Ondo. Using a difference-in-differences strategy and ACLED conflict event data, I find that the law reduces conflict in Ekiti after two years of its passage. This may have happened because the law weakened the property rights of land for the herders and strengthened the farmers. I find a similar but insignificant effect of the law in Ondo state. Among the types of conflict, the law reduces violent conflicts in the state of Ekiti in a similar manner to all conflicts. It shows that the law succeeded in reducing herder-farmer conflicts which are generally violent in nature.

A decrease in conflicts can in turn raise household incomes and reduce food insecurity. At the same time, the law may have heterogeneous impacts across groups: the weakening of herders’ property rights may increase food insecurity for them, particularly in the short run. In Chapter 2, using a difference-in-differences strategy and multiple waves of the Nigeria General Household Survey, I find that Ekiti’s anti-open grazing law increased household food insecurity in Ekiti and its neighboring state Ondo. This finding suggests that the reduction in conflicts achieved by anti-open grazing law came at the cost of increased food insecurity for some groups.



Herder-farmer conflict, Anti-open grazing laws, Climate change, Food insecurity, Ekiti, Nigeria