As promised by the Convener of the Nigerian Rice Festival, Olukemi Ilori, the second edition of the very unique festival will be coming up between 25th -26th April 2019, just six months after the first edition.
The rice festival will hold at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.
Speaking on the coming edition, Olukemi Ilori said, “We are fast-tracking the development of the brand by hosting two festivals a year – one on the mainland and another on the Island,” she said. “It will give us an opportunity to take our national food brands, jolly rice, to other Rice Festivals and create awareness about Nigerian Jollof Rice, the best in the world, as well as other Nigerian Rice dishes. It is probably only football than can overshadow Jollof Rice as a positive Nigerian export.”
Nigerian Rice Festival is an emerging cultural food event which is designed to brand Nigeria positively. It most importantly has a food tourism component like other global Rice Festivals.
The first edition award was won by Mrs Kemi Akemu from Warri, Delta State, with her banga rice recipe. The demonstration cooking also featured Ofada Boy, and interesting dishes like Yamba Yamba rice. This year, a lady from Langtang, Plateau State has promised to cook special native jollof rice. There will also be demonstration cooking in coconut rice, concoction rice, ground rice, and others.
A Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SME) Company, Nana Spices Jollof Rice spice, has been donated for the Jollof Rice War. According to Ilori, the rice festival is 100 percent natural and proudly Nigerian. She, is therefore, encouraging other brands to get their endorsement for their products in cooking Nigerian rice. These include tomato pastes, cooking oils, spices, meats, etc.
The event is divided into two: food competition and exhibitions. This festival is importantly designed to enhance commercial activity in the entire rice value chain. It does it in such a way that people enjoy it and are happy.
“The rice revolution is important in that it creates employment thereby reducing crime, capital flight, and it feeds the populace thereby enhancing food security.”
Ilori, who is also the CEO, Total Exhibition Support Services Co. Ltd., and Kellar West Africa Nig Ltd., described Nigerian rice as healthy with a lot of varieties, and a low glycolemic index, which makes people less predisposed to diabetes. “Our rice varieties are also rich in nutrients unlike the polished ones that are imported”, she stated.
The organizer thanked the Lagos state government and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Co-operatives for partnering with them to make the event a reality.