PEACECORE: Strengthening Capacities for Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution between Farmers and Cattle Herders in Nigeria's Middle Belt

Published: 29 August 2023
Last edited: 17 January 2024
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Plateau State in Nigeria is affected by various conflict lines that contribute to tensions and violent conflict: farmers and cattle herders compete over natural resources such as water and land. A variety of different cultural, religious and ethnic identities are represented in the project area.

PEACECORE project promotes peaceful coexistence, sustainable livelihoods and food security. We focus on peacebuilding through decentralised structures to mediate natural resource conflict; advocacy and dialogue processes are supported while trauma processing structures are developed. We address the interrelation of peaceful coexistence and economic empowerment among cattle herders and farmers. Farmers and herders are trained in various aspects of sustainable agricultural practice and animal health, cooperatives and associations are strengthened and established, value chains and livelihood diversified, as well as traditional trade mechanisms revived.


West and Central Africa
Scale of implementation
Grassland ecosystems
Rangeland / Pasture
Temperate grassland, savanna, shrubland
Tropical grassland, savanna, shrubland
Food security
Gender mainstreaming
Health and human wellbeing
Indigenous people
Infrastructure maintenance
Legal & policy frameworks
Local actors
One Health
Outreach & communications
Peace and human security
Protected and conserved areas management planning
Renewable energies
Sustainable livelihoods
Traditional knowledge
Water provision and management
Watershed management
One Health
Animal health
Food systems
Good governance of landscapes
Health effects of climate change and pollution
Health related aspects of socio-economic factors such as poverty, education, social security structures, digitalisation, financing systems, human capacity development 
Neglected tropical diseases, emerging infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance
Water, sanitation and hygiene
Erratic rainfall
Land and Forest degradation
Loss of Biodiversity
Vector and water borne diseases
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Ecosystem loss
Inefficient management of financial resources
Infrastructure development
Lack of access to long-term funding
Lack of alternative income opportunities
Physical resource extraction
Changes in socio-cultural context
Lack of food security
Lack of infrastructure
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Lack of technical capacity
Poor governance and participation
Social conflict and civil unrest
Unemployment / poverty
Sustainable development goals
SDG 1 – No poverty
SDG 2 – Zero hunger
SDG 3 – Good health and well-being
SDG 5 – Gender equality
SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth
SDG 13 – Climate action
SDG 16 – Peace, justice and strong institutions
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
Aichi targets
Target 4: Sustainable production and consumption
Target 7: Sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and forestry
Target 8: Pollution reduced
Target 10: Ecosystems vulnerable to climate change
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Target 18: Traditional knowledge
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge
Target 20: Mobilizing resources from all sources
Sendai Framework
Target 2: Reduce the number of affected people globally by 2030
Target 4: Reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, among them health and educational facilities, including through developing their resilience by 2030


Wase, Plateau, Nigeria | Bassa, Bokkos, Mangu, Riyom, Shendam, Wase
Mangu, Plateau, Nigeria
Shendam, Plateau, Nigeria
Riyom, Plateau, Nigeria
Bokkos, Plateau, Nigeria
Bassa, Plateau, Nigeria



  • Climate change is a major issue, increased competion over water resources for farmers and herders and communities.
  • Increased population and extensive land use has increased pressure on available land resources often leading to violent conflict between farmers and herders.
  • Increased use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers have led to deteroriating land health and reduced yields.


  • The factors listed above have contributed to long standing, recurrent conflicts between farmers and herders and the deterioration of social and trade relationships. Lost trust in the state and government agencies to address the conflicts leading to wider social gaps.
  • Legal access to land is a challenge in these communities.


  • High rates of poverty and unemployment also exist in targeted communities.
  • A lack of awareness of alternative skills and value chains, most of the population engage in subsistence farming, selling primary agricultural products.


Our beneficiaries include:

  • Farmers
  • Herders
  • Women in target communities
  • Children affected by trauma
  • Layhelpers
  • Trained Mediators
  • Government agencies like the PPBA
  • Community stakeholders
  • Agricultural cooperatives
  • Local consultants, suppliers and vendors

How do the building blocks interact?


The dialogue formats of CPAF and PFIM help the project to identify the priority needs and challenges of the communities as well as offering probable solutions to them. One one hand livelihood projects and connector livelihood-support projects can be identified through these community engagements. On the other hand, the joint trade and exchange activities in the livelihood block offer more avenues for constructive dialogue. Through both tracks, the resilience of participants and communities is supported, so that they are better equipped to deal with conflicts through mediation and peaceful resolution.


PEACECORE has reached nearly 20,000 direct beneficiaries. 3,000 farmer and herder households received agricultural or livestock support, including vaccination and animal health programs, and 700 households supported in generating income. 5,300 farmers and herders trained on climate smart agriculture and eco-friendly income generation. Local capacities strengthened in selected conflict- ridden communities through pilot projects to establish organic and niche value chains such as bee-keeping, chili sauce, soil regeneration, fodder, the millet acha (fonio), briquettes, cheese and soya. Over 5 Community Cooperatives have been established through these efforts. 600 individuals pursued additional income opportunities through cash for work and basic vocational trainings to 500 youths provided. 100 mediators trained in community based collaborative dispute resolution. Decentralized dialogue forums established to encourage local contributions to peacebuilding. Through these over 50 disputes over natural resources have been resolved. Additionally, 12 psychologists and 30 lay persons were trained to provide trauma processing referral structures and 66 children received trauma processing assistance.  300 households received counselling support on matters of land rights amongst which approximately 100 households were offered legal counselling.



Ancha Community Congo Grass Farm: A Success Story

Ancha Community is in Zobwo Ward of Bassa Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State, Nigeria. It is one of the communities in the LGA that experienced violent farmer-herder conflict with loss of many lives and properties in recent years (especially between 2019 and 2022).  

The GIZ-PEACECORE project partnered with Youth Adolescent, Reflection and Action Center (YARAC), a local civil society organisation, to implement peacebuilding and livelihood activities that encouraged peaceful coexistence between farmers and herders in three (3) communities of Bassa LGA which Ancha Community is one of them. The project brought together the conflicting parties (farmers and herders) under one cooperative to carry out farming activities. In 2022/2023, the cooperative, under the guidance and training of YARAC, cultivated Congo grass and Mucuna beans (see video and pictures) as well as maize. The Congo grass and Mucuna beans are of great value to both the farmers and the herders as economic crops that are of great nutritional value to livestock.

Contributed by

guel.akbal_43068's picture

Gül Pembe Akbal Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH