Pastoral livelihoods of the Fulani on the Jos Plateau of Nigeria

Ayodele O Majekodunmi, Akinyemi Fajinmi, Charles Dongkum, Alexandra P M Shaw, Susan C Welburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The Jos Plateau is an important cattle-producing area in Nigeria, with a high concentration of pastoral Fulani. In recent decades, pastoralist studies have focused on arid and semi-arid areas, with few based in the sub-humid zones, such as the Jos Plateau. There have been significant socio-economic and agricultural changes in this area over time which makes it necessary to assess current pastoral livelihood strategies. A pastoral livelihood analysis of 66 individual households/herds across 30 villages was conducted, using participatory methods and structured questionnaires. The majority of pastoral households are in the middle or better off wealth categories and only a few are poor in terms of livestock holdings. However, the majority are poor in terms of land holdings. Livestock sales remain the major source of income, but only 30% of households rely on this as their sole source of income. Sale of crops, milk and off-farm activities contributed income in other households. Comparison with previous livestock productivity levels on the Jos Plateau shows that natural resource conflict has increased, with negative effects on productivity, although vulnerability to shocks has decreased over the years. Overall productivity has decreased and calving rates were particularly low. The pastoral Fulani community is relatively well-off, compared to similar populations across West Africa. However, the high proportion of wealth concentrated in livestock and large numbers of land-poor households indicate that there is still a degree of vulnerability to the risks of drought/dry season, disease and conflict in pastoral livelihoods in the area.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalPastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


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