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Title :

Agricultural Practices and Settlement Patterns of the Tiv of Central Nigeria, 1900-1975

Authors :

Henry Terna Ahom

The paper examines the socio?economic problems encountered by the Tiv through their adoption of the shi?ing cultivation system of farming. The Tiv people of central Nigeria are known to be predominantly farmers. The adoption of shi?ing cultivation system by the Tiv people made them to move their compounds with their farms. Consequently, the Tiv resorted to the sca?ered se?lement pa?ern which invariably requires a lot of land space. Therefore, in the course of their search for fertile lands for farming, they clashed with groups they came into contact with. It also led them into collision with other groups especially when they migrated into the middle Benue valley. With the advent of colonial rule, the people's system of shi?ing cultivation was always at variance with the policies put in place by the colonial administration and laid the foundation for future conflicts in Tiv land. In the post colonial period, concomitant with the incorporation of the Tiv economy to the capitalist economy, certain socio?economic variables in the emerging post colonial Tiv economy were clearly at variance with the continued usage of the shi?ing cultivation system. The objective of the paper therefore is to show that the adoption of the shi?ing cultivation system of farming has been responsible for the high mobility rate among the Tiv that has resulted in incessant land conflicts among them and their neighbours at all frontiers. It recommends the adoption of modern technology in farming to increase farm yields and the training of farmers in modern farm methods.