Agricultural Economics and Extension Project Topics

The Impact of Insecurity on Food Security Sustainability in Nigerian Economy From 1986-2022

The Impact of Insecurity on Food Security Sustainability in Nigerian Economy From 1986-2022

The Impact of Insecurity on Food Security Sustainability in Nigerian Economy From 1986-2022

Chapter One

Objectives of the Study

This study had three specific objectives:

  1. To assess the historical evolution of insecurity in Nigeria from 1986 to 2022.
  2. To analyze the impact of insecurity on the agricultural sector and its contribution to food security sustainability.
  3. To propose policy recommendations aimed at addressing the challenges posed by insecurity to food security in the Nigerian economy.



Conceptual Review

Insecurity in Nigeria

Insecurity in Nigeria has deep historical roots that have evolved, manifesting in various forms and impacting different regions of the country. The historical evolution of insecurity in Nigeria is multifaceted, reflecting a complex interplay of socio-political, economic, and cultural factors (Dioume, 2021).

One critical aspect of the historical evolution is the influence of colonialism and post-colonial political dynamics. The imposition of artificial boundaries by colonial powers led to the creation of a diverse nation with numerous ethnic and religious groups. The struggle for resources, power, and representation has historically fueled tensions, contributing to the genesis of insecurity challenges (Emmanuel, 2022).

The types and manifestations of insecurity in Nigeria are diverse and have evolved to encompass various forms, each presenting unique challenges. Insurgency, notably exemplified by the activities of groups like Boko Haram, has been a persistent threat, causing widespread violence and displacements (Emmanuel, 2022). Communal clashes, often rooted in ethnic or religious differences, have also been a recurring issue, leading to localized conflicts and displacement of communities (Ezeama et al., 2021). Additionally, banditry has emerged as a significant form of insecurity, with criminal groups exploiting vulnerabilities in different regions (Nayak, 2020).

Geographical variations play a crucial role in the prevalence of insecurity across Nigeria. Different regions experience distinct forms and intensities of insecurity, influenced by a myriad of factors such as historical grievances, resource distribution, and cultural dynamics. For instance, the northern regions have faced a disproportionate burden of insurgency, while communal clashes may be more prevalent in certain central and southern areas (Emmanuel, 2022). Understanding these geographical variations is essential for crafting targeted interventions that address the specific challenges faced by different regions and communities.

Food Security in Nigeria

Food security in Nigeria encompasses a multidimensional framework that involves defining its components, identifying relevant indicators, and understanding the vulnerability factors that influence its stability and sustainability. This section provides an in-depth exploration of these aspects, shedding light on the intricate nature of food security in the Nigerian context.

The definition of food security involves not only the availability of food but also the accessibility, utilization, and stability of its supply. Food security is achieved when all individuals, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and preferences for an active and healthy life (FAO, 2011). This holistic definition emphasizes the multifaceted nature of food security, going beyond mere quantity to encompass quality, safety, and the ability of individuals to utilize food effectively.

Indicators of food security serve as critical metrics for assessing the status of a nation’s food supply. These indicators include availability, accessibility, utilization, and stability (FAO, 2011). Availability refers to the physical presence of food within the country, accessibility relates to the economic and physical ability of individuals to obtain food, utilization involves the nutritional value and safety of the food consumed, and stability concerns the consistency of these factors over time. These indicators collectively provide a comprehensive overview of the multifaceted dimensions of food security.

Vulnerability factors play a pivotal role in influencing food security in Nigeria. These factors are diverse and include economic, social, and environmental elements. Economic factors, such as income levels and employment opportunities, directly impact individuals’ purchasing power and, consequently, their access to food (Ibukun & Adebayo, 2021). Social factors, including gender dynamics and cultural practices, contribute to variations in food access and utilization. Environmental factors, such as climate change and natural disasters, can disrupt agricultural activities and impact the overall availability of food (FAO, 2011). Understanding these vulnerability factors is essential for formulating targeted interventions that address the root causes of food insecurity in Nigeria.





The methodology adopted for this research aims to rigorously address the research objectives, drawing on established research philosophies and approaches to theory development as outlined in Saunders et al. (2019), Anderson et al. (2020), and Bell (2022). The overarching objective of this study is to investigate the impact of insecurity on food security in Nigeria, employing a quantitative survey research design to gather and analyze data comprehensively.

Research Design

The selection of a quantitative survey research design for this study was underpinned by its alignment with the positivist paradigm, as advocated by Saunders et al. (2019) and Creswell and Creswell (2018). This paradigm emphasizes the objective and empirical investigation of phenomena through systematic observation and measurement of variables. The quantitative approach was deemed appropriate for exploring the intricate relationship between insecurity and food security, as it allows for the collection of numerical data conducive to statistical analysis. By adhering to the principles of positivism, the research sought to establish a clear and objective understanding of the impact of insecurity on food security in Nigeria.

The justification for employing a quantitative survey design lies in the systematic and structured methodology it provides, aligning with the rigorous requirements of empirical research (Saunders et al., 2019). A survey design allows for the standardized collection of data from a large number of respondents, enhancing the generalizability of findings. In the context of this study, where the aim was to comprehensively investigate the diverse dimensions of insecurity and its impact on food security, a systematic approach was imperative. The survey design facilitated the gathering of data on a broad scale, ensuring that insights derived from the study were reflective of the experiences and perceptions across diverse demographic groups within the Nigerian population

 Population of the Study

The selection of the study’s population involved targeting individuals residing in Nigeria, representing the broader context of the impact of insecurity on food security. The decision to focus on the Nigerian population was driven by the study’s overarching goal of providing insights into the national implications of insecurity on food security dynamics. This aligns with the research design’s emphasis on quantitative survey methodology, which is conducive to studying phenomena at a larger scale (Creswell & Creswell, 2018).

The decision to set the target population at 1200 respondents was motivated by the imperative to capture a diverse and representative sample. As recommended by Saunders et al. (2019), this sample size allows for statistical analyses that enhance the generalizability of findings to the broader Nigerian population. Given the socio-cultural, economic, and geographic diversity within Nigeria, a robust and comprehensive understanding of the impact of insecurity on food security necessitated a sample size that could adequately represent these variations. Consequently, the choice of 1200 respondents ensures that the study’s outcomes are not only statistically reliable but also applicable across various demographic categories, contributing to the external validity of the research.



Data Presentation




Summary of Findings

This study investigated the multifaceted relationship between insecurity and food security in Nigeria, exploring various dimensions such as the evolution of insecurity, its impact on the agricultural sector, and the broader economic implications on food security sustainability. The empirical analysis incorporated responses from 104 participants, providing valuable insights into the perceptions and experiences of individuals directly or indirectly affected by the insecurities in the country.

Participants’ perceptions regarding the evolution of insecurity in Nigeria from 1986 to 2022 were explored in Table 4.6. The findings indicated that 67.3% either agreed or strongly agreed that the level of insecurity had noticeably changed over the decades. Additionally, Table 4.7 revealed that a substantial majority (73.1%) believed that there is a perception that the security situation has become more challenging. These outcomes suggest a prevalent awareness among respondents regarding the changing dynamics of insecurity in Nigeria.

Tables 4.10 to 4.13 delved into the repercussions of insecurity on the agricultural sector. The majority of participants (67.3% to 75.0%) either agreed or strongly agreed that the agricultural sector has experienced disruptions due to insecurity. Furthermore, participants recognized the challenges posed to the smooth functioning of the agricultural industry, with 75.0% to 76.9% agreeing. Interestingly, a significant proportion (70.2% to 72.1%) acknowledged that the impact of insecurity on agriculture extends beyond immediate disruptions. These findings underscore the profound and multi-dimensional consequences of insecurity on the agricultural landscape.

Tables 4.14 to 4.17 delved into the broader economic implications of insecurity on food security sustainability. The majority of respondents (84.6% to 87.5%) either agreed or strongly agreed that insecurity has economic consequences that ripple into food security sustainability. Moreover, a substantial percentage (77.9% to 79.8%) recognized the interconnectedness between economic stability and food security amid insecurity. The study also found that 80.8% of respondents believed that the economic repercussions of insecurity may extend beyond immediate concerns. Additionally, an overwhelming majority (81.7%) agreed that maintaining food security in the face of insecurity requires a multifaceted approach. These results collectively emphasize the intricate relationships between insecurity, economic stability, and sustainable food security.

The one-sample t-tests (Table 4.18) provided statistical evidence to support or refute certain hypotheses. The findings revealed that the mean scores for the historical evolution of insecurity, the impact of insecurity on the agricultural sector, and policy recommendations to address insecurity were significantly different from zero, indicating a statistical significance in respondents’ perceptions.

In summary, the study’s comprehensive exploration of insecurity and food security in Nigeria provides valuable insights into the complex dynamics at play. The findings not only confirm prevailing perceptions among respondents but also highlight the need for multifaceted approaches to address the challenges posed by insecurity in the agricultural sector and food security sustainability. The study contributes to the existing literature by providing empirical evidence and statistical support for the identified relationships, offering a nuanced understanding of the issues at the intersection of insecurity and food security in Nigeria.


In conclusion, the empirical findings of this study shed light on the intricate relationship between insecurity and food security in Nigeria. The one-sample t-tests provided statistical evidence supporting the hypotheses tested, revealing that respondents perceived a significant impact of the evolution of insecurity on the agricultural sector, with mean scores significantly different from zero. Furthermore, respondents acknowledged the economic consequences of insecurity, affirming its ripple effect on food security sustainability. These statistically significant findings corroborate the qualitative responses gathered through survey questions, reinforcing the notion that insecurity has multifaceted implications for agriculture and broader economic stability in Nigeria.

The study’s outcomes underscore the urgency for comprehensive strategies and interventions to address the challenges posed by insecurity to food security. Policymakers, practitioners, and stakeholders should consider the nuanced dynamics revealed in this research to formulate effective and targeted initiatives. Mitigating the impact of insecurity on the agricultural sector requires holistic approaches that not only address immediate disruptions but also consider the long-term sustainability of food security.


Based on the results thus far, the following recommendations are proposed:

  1. Enhance Security Measures in Agricultural Zones: Strengthening security measures in agricultural regions is paramount to safeguarding the sector against threats. Increased surveillance, strategic deployment of security forces, and the use of technology, such as drones and sensors, can aid in monitoring and preventing potential disruptions.
  2. Promote Community Engagement and Vigilance: Community involvement is crucial in creating a robust security network. Encouraging local communities to actively participate in securing their agricultural areas fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility. Community-based vigilance can act as an early warning system, mitigating risks effectively.
  3. Implement Integrated Crisis Management Plans: Develop and implement comprehensive crisis management plans that encompass various scenarios related to insecurity. These plans should involve coordination between relevant stakeholders, including government agencies, security forces, and local communities. Regular drills and simulations can ensure preparedness and swift response during crises.
  4. Invest in Sustainable Agricultural Practices: Promoting sustainable agricultural practices can contribute to reducing the vulnerability of the sector. Implementing resilient farming techniques, diversifying crops, and adopting climate-smart agricultural practices enhance the sector’s adaptability to various challenges, including those posed by insecurity.
  5. Facilitate Access to Agricultural Insurance: Governments and relevant institutions should work towards making agricultural insurance more accessible to farmers. This financial safety net can provide a buffer against losses incurred due to insecurity-related disruptions, encouraging farmers to invest with greater confidence.
  6. Foster Research and Innovation: Support research initiatives and innovation in agriculture to develop technologies and strategies that mitigate the impact of insecurity. This includes investing in research on resilient crop varieties, efficient supply chain management, and technology-driven solutions that enhance the sector’s overall resilience.
  7. Address Socioeconomic Factors Contributing to Insecurity: Recognize and address underlying socioeconomic factors contributing to insecurity. Tackling issues such as poverty, unemployment, and unequal distribution of resources can contribute to creating a more stable environment, positively impacting both security and food sustainability.
  8. International Collaboration and Information Sharing: Facilitate collaboration with international partners to share information, best practices, and expertise in managing insecurity-related challenges in the agricultural sector. Leveraging global insights can provide a broader perspective and innovative solutions to enhance local efforts.

Contribution to Knowledge

The present study significantly contributes to knowledge by providing a comprehensive understanding of the intricate relationship between insecurity and food security in Nigeria. Firstly, the research sheds light on the historical evolution of insecurity in the country from 1986 to 2022. By examining this temporal aspect, the study offers valuable insights into the changing dynamics of insecurity, identifying patterns and trends that can inform policymakers, security agencies, and scholars. This historical perspective contributes to the existing literature by offering a nuanced understanding of the long-term implications of insecurity in various sectors, particularly the agricultural industry.

Secondly, the study delves into the specific ways insecurity has affected the agricultural sector in Nigeria. By presenting empirical evidence on disruptions within the agricultural industry, the research contributes to knowledge by highlighting the vulnerabilities and challenges faced by farmers and stakeholders. The detailed analysis of these specific impacts provides a foundation for targeted interventions and policy measures aimed at enhancing the resilience of the agricultural sector in the face of insecurity. This contribution is crucial for guiding both short-term responses and long-term strategies to ensure sustainable food security.

Furthermore, the study explores the broader economic implications of insecurity on food security sustainability in Nigeria. By examining the economic ripple effects, the research enriches the understanding of how insecurity permeates beyond immediate disruptions, affecting the overall economic landscape. This contribution is essential for policymakers and economists seeking a holistic view of the challenges posed by insecurity. It provides a basis for formulating comprehensive policies that address not only the immediate threats but also the systemic issues influencing food security sustainability.

Lastly, the research makes a methodological contribution by employing a mixed-methods approach that integrates quantitative survey data with qualitative insights. This methodological choice allows for a more comprehensive and nuanced exploration of the research questions. The triangulation of data sources enhances the validity and reliability of the findings, contributing to the methodological discourse within the field of security studies and food security research. This methodological contribution can guide future research endeavours, encouraging a holistic approach to studying complex phenomena that require a multifaceted understanding.

Limitations of the Study

Despite the valuable contributions made by this study, it is essential to acknowledge its limitations, which may impact the generalizability and applicability of the findings. Firstly, the research’s reliance on a quantitative survey design, while providing statistical insights, may limit the depth of understanding regarding the complexities of the insecurity-food security relationship. The use of closed-ended questionnaire items might oversimplify participants’ perspectives, overlooking qualitative nuances that could have enriched the interpretation of the data. A more comprehensive exploration could have been achieved with a mixed-methods design that integrates qualitative interviews or focus groups, allowing for a deeper exploration of participants’ experiences and perceptions.

Secondly, the study’s generalizability is constrained by the convenience sampling technique employed, which may introduce selection bias. The respondents, predominantly agricultural workers, might not fully represent the diverse demographic groups in Nigeria. This limits the external validity of the findings, particularly when attempting to extend the conclusions to the broader population. A more extensive and diverse sample, drawn from various geographic regions and socioeconomic backgrounds, could have enhanced the study’s generalizability. Additionally, the reliance on self-reported data introduces the possibility of response bias, as participants may provide socially desirable responses or recall information inaccurately, impacting the overall reliability of the study.


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