All is set for the 2023 edition of the Ofada Rice Day, aimed at promoting the originality and health benefits of locally grown Ofada rice to a teeming and potential audience.
The event, themed Faaji edition, is hosted by OfadaBoy, a leading indigenous food outfit, and is rated as the biggest food festival with a convergence of over 5,000 attendees in the previous editions.
Tobi Fletcher, the head chef and founder, Ofadaboy said at the press briefing of The Ofada Rice Day Celebration held recently in Lagos that a lot of times, people deviate from who they truly are.
According to him, the authenticity of who we are is what birthed the Ofada Day festival.
“This year is the fifth and the biggest edition. I am Ofadaboy by gene, heritage, and the real sense of it. My great-grandfather was the first known farmer of Ofada rice and that is why I am so passionate about Ofada rice,” he said.
Fletcher unveiled ‘Ofadabration’ as the theme of this year’s Ofada Rice Day celebration for the fifth edition, saying, “The reason we went this route is because we know Ofada has to be an everyday conversation that we have.”
“We are always very proud to be a part of the Ofada Day festival and it is a pleasure to have witnessed the growth of this festival from inception till date,” Abisola Olusanya, Lagos State commissioner for Agriculture said.
“We are celebrating something of our own, something indigenous to us and not something foreign or some processed rice which at the end of the day is not as healthy,’ Olusanya said, while adding that we are celebrating something that has health benefits, has the potential to grow the economy, has the potential to create jobs and at the same time bringing tradition, culture into play.
OfadaBoy is an indigenous African-themed restaurant located in Surulere, Lagos Nigeria which offers different signature Ofada rice as well as other local Nigerian delicacies.
It was founded in 2009 by Tobi Fletcher, an indigene of Ofada town in Ogun State Nigeria famous for the production of local Ofada rice, the restaurant is a representation of a family heritage spanning 4 generations.
Tobi’s great-grandfather was the first set of farmers to plant Ofada rice and the family tradition has been passed on through generations.
Ofadaboy captures tradition in taste and presentation to make local meals tastefully available in contemporary society.
“I think celebrating the Ofada rice itself as a food staple is the way to go and it is one of the best ways that we can also grow our economy locally and internationally,” Olusanya, Lagos State commissioner for Agriculture said.
She urged more farmers to grow Ofada rice. “We have few farmers sparsely some in Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu and we hope to see an increase in the number of people within the value chain.”
Shina Peters, a Nigerian musician was acknowledged at the press briefing for his support at the Ofada Rice festival.
“Ofada rice is the best rice in the world,” Peters said.
Dipo Odebowale, a representative of Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission said OfadaBoy is contributing majorly towards empowerment of the people, and development of the country because the festival is not just to celebrate but to own our products.
“By owning our products, we are showcasing what we are capable of doing as a people and as a country then in promoting our culture because this project has the potential of revenue generation for the country,” Odebowale said while representing Dabiri-Erewa.
“We must consume what we produce and we must produce what we consume,” he said, while adding that dollars will continue to rise if we do not own our product.