Nigeria - Ghana Jollof Rice Twitter (Fun) War

Few days ago, I noticed jollof rice was trending on twitter. I was wondering why jollof rice was trending and discovered Nigerians and Ghanaians were arguing who makes better Jollof rice and where jollof rice came from. It was also World Jollof Rice Day (August 22). I did not know Jollof Rice had a special day set aside for celebrating the excellent works it has been doing to our appetite and stomach :-).
photo credit: bunmiodunowo.com
Well, I used to be among the Nigerians who actually thought Jollof rice originated from Nigeria. So, any other country that ate jollof rice definitely learnt how to prepare it from
Nigeria or from a Nigerian friend. My perspective changed after I met Gambian last year who told me Jollof rice was actually from Gambia :). I was already taking that in when my Senegalese friend told me Jollof rice was originally from Senegal and then spread to other West African countries. Well, I do understand Jollof rice has its origin from Senegal and Gambia and the name ‘jollof’ was from the word ‘wollof’ which is one of the languages spoken in Senegal and Gambia. Little did I know that Jollof rice will be a thing of debate between Nigeria and Ghana on twitter in 2016 :). 

It was indeed a fun war as I read through some of the tweets on jollof rice from passionate Nigerians and Ghanaians in argument of which country made it better. Yesterday, I read comments on twitter, some Nigerians saying, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed Nigerian Jollof rice was very nice so, that is the final; Ghana should deal with the defeat...lol. 

Bringing it back home, I wish we could have more rice produced in Nigeria and less imports, so that we could eat more jollof rice at reduced cost. The continuous eating of jollof rice is in the production :). Although Nigeria has improved in the last 2 years in rice production, there is still a lot to be done. According to statistics reported by Premium Times and Today NG, Nigeria imported 24 million metric tons between October 2015 and March 2016. It is reported that Nigeria currently consumes almost 6 million metric tons of milled rice annually. In the last 10 years, Nigeria has imported rice from Thailand, Pakistan, India, United States and Vietnam. This is a pathetic situation.


Although the government has banned the importation of rice through its land borders, meeting the high demand for rice through local production remains a challenge.
Many farmers interested in large scale rice production are limited by the resources they need to make large scale production happen. The re-occurring challenge these farmers encounter includes the lack of adequate farm inputs (fertilizers and improved seeds). In addition to the challenge of improved seeds, lack of machinery for milling, packaging to standards, to mention a few.

I do love jollof rice. Nigeria is blessed with good and tasty rice variety. We need to keep eating our Jollof rice…I look forward to the days Nigeria will produce more than enough for the local and export markets. Nigeria is gradually embracing back, what used to be its main source of revenue and the mainstay of the economy (more than 30 years ago, before the oil boom) - AGRICULTURE. 

Oh, did I forget to mention that Nigerians make very good jollof rice? ;-) I like Ghana jollof rice too! 

**Read more on the history of Jollof Rice on World Jollof Rice Day (WJRD)

Written by: Chinwe Oguamanam

1 comment:

  1. I think both the Ghana and Nigeria jollof are different and really good in their own ways. Me likey any jollof, nice post!

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