Pastoralism was historically more concentrated in northern Nigeria, in the savannah zones, but there is a growing “migration drift” of pastoralists towards the sub-humid and humid zones of central Nigeria. This process has been going on for decades as pastoralists reached tropical parts of the country along the Atlantic coast at least half a century ago. The trend has accelerated in the last decade and, with the extension of pastoralism southwards, new pressures have emerged. As a result, pastoralism has become a national issue.

In Nigeria, as elsewhere in West Africa, pastoral lifestyles vary from nomadic pastoralists to sedentary or semi-sedentary agro-pastoralists. Those with a purely nomadic lifestyle are now a minority amongst pastoralists in Nigeria.

Nomadic pastoralists traditionally have no permanent habitat and do not own land although some of them are now beginning to acquire land. Semi-sedentary, transhumant herders are the most common in Nigeria.

Even for agro-pastoralists combining farming and stockbreeding, part of the family remains in a permanent camp or village while breeders or young shepherds go to graze cattle and sheep outside. Pastoralism therefore depends on good relations with the farming communities on which they rely for access to land and water.


The situation has now become more difficult in Nigeria, due to demographic pressures and increase in the amount of agricultural land and growing insecurity (community violence, insurgent conflicts or banditry). In Nigeria, pastoralists face many challenges.

Transhumance routes are not well protected in practice and are often cultivated or blocked, including those used daily to graze animals in the morning and return to the camp or village in the evening. In the south, there is no infrastructure to regulate relations between herders and farmers.


 Status of planned infrastructures and facilities                                             

Types of infrastructures Indicators Quantity Location
Component 3-Infrastructures
1 Securing livestock tracks Track length 350 km In the process of identification
States: Katsina/ Sokoto / Kebbi
2 Development of resting/grazing areas Number of resting/grazing areas 20 * In the process of identification
3 Provision of water points Number of water points (ponds, boreholes, wells, dams,…) 12 * In the process of identification
4 Livestock market construction Number of livestock markets 3 * Maiadu’a in Katsina Ilelah
*Market in Sokoto State
* Amagoro Market in Kebbi State


Status of projected soft activities

Types of activities Indicators Quantity
Component 3-Infrastructures
1 Facilitator training Number of facilitators to be trained 20
2 Organisation of debates Number of debates 4
3 Organisation of accompanied debates Number of accompanied debates 4
4 Map production Number of maps produced 3
5 Infrastructure and facility management committee training Number of Management Committee trainings 3
6 Organisation of exchange visits Number of exchange visits 2
7 Organisation of technical and budgetary review workshops Technical and budgetary review workshops of local communities 6
8 Wide dissemination of the technical and budgetary review workshop results


Number of Radio announcements 6
Component 2-Dialogue
9 Organisation of cross-border consultation meetings to prevent and manage conflicts in areas lacking a consultation framework Number of meetings involving RPOs at cross-border, national and regional levels 5
10 Organisation of annual high-level meetings on peaceful transhumance by the RPO consultation framework


Number of participants in cross-border, committee/framework and national committee meetings and gender composition 55
11 Advocacy to ensure that transhumance and nutrition issues are taken into account in country strategies, investment plans and budget allocations, and in MDPs or municipal development plans.


Number of municipal, regional or national plans integrating development proposals for peaceful transhumance (in connection with the achievements of Component 3) 2
12 Training and information of farmers and pastoralists on the texts regulating transhumance.


Number of leaders of farmers, pastoralists and transhumance stakeholders who have benefited from training on the texts 20
13 Development of a cross-border dialogue facilitation module, based on the analysis of gaps between law and practice.


Number of facilitators trained in cross-border dialogue facilitation within the RPOs (10/PRO) 5
14 Experimentation of a legal assistance system


Number of pastoralists and farmers who have received legal assistance (as needed) 30



The 1965 Act creating grazing reserves in the northern region was “inherited” by the States after their creation in 1967 from the existing regions. Grazing reserves are therefore under the jurisdiction of the northern States and not the Federal Government. Most northern grazing reserves actually exist only on paper.

Although the Federal Government has provided the Bobi Grazing Reserve with facilities for pastoralists, part of this Reserve has been turned into farmland. This happened when pastoralists abandoned the reserve due to deteriorating infrastructure. The loss of grazing reserves and other pastoral lands in northern Nigeria partly explains why more pastoralists moved to the south of the country where grazing reserves never existed.

Downloadable legal texts


  • Support Programme for Livestock Marketing in West Africa (Programme d’appui à la commercialisation du bétail en Afrique de l’Ouest) Phase I (PACBAO), in progress;
  • Regional Education/Training Programme for Pastoralist Populations in Cross-Border Areas (PREPP), in progress
  • Integrated and Secure Livestock and Pastoralism Project (PEPISAO)


Mr Igbekoyi, Ayodele James is the transhumance focal point for PREDIP and represents the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Nigeria. He is Assistant Director of Animal Production within this Ministry.