Journal of
African Studies and Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Afr. Stud. Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2189
  • DOI: 10.5897/JASD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 220

Full Length Research Paper

Farmer-pastoralist conflicts management approaches in Sub-Saharan Africa: Insights into their strengths and pitfalls

Mabebe Erasmus Ntumva
  • Mabebe Erasmus Ntumva
  • Department of Agricultural Extension and Community Development, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P. O. Box, 3002, Morogoro, Tanzania.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 20 December 2021
  •  Accepted: 10 February 2022
  •  Published: 28 February 2022


This article provides a critical review of the different theoretical perspectives on the existing conflict management mechanisms. Focus has been paid on the dynamics surrounding these mechanisms in relation to the changing contexts and times. The primary aim is: First, to identify what is already known about the available conflict-management mechanisms for handling farmer-pastoralist conflicts including the current direction of the research;  second, to develop a relevant synthesis framework that can: (a) reflect the strengths and pitfalls of the available conflict management mechanisms in relation to the changing nature of the conflicts, (b) inform the development and analysis of case study research on the relevance of the existing mechanisms for conflict management in relation to the nature of the conflicts; third, to clarify key areas of discussion and further inquiry on conflict management mechanisms to which this review might usefully contribute. The article draws from critical literature, theoretical and case study analysis to gain an insight into dynamics surrounding farmer-pastoral conflicts management approaches. The central question guiding this discussion is ‘what dynamics surround farmer-pastoral conflict management mechanisms across varying contexts and times in sub-Saharan Africa? The article concludes that there is hardly any single mechanism capable of addressing the different causes of the farmer–pastoralist conflicts and more so in varying contexts and times. This situation suggests complementarity as perhaps a relevant approach for meaningful farmer-pastoralist conflicts management.


Key words: Conflicts, farmer-pastoralist, conflict management, traditional institutions, collective action, traditional mechanisms, natural resources, decentralization, policies, interventions.