The Director General(DG) of Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture, Mr. Wale Ojo-Lanre, on Tuesday said the state was committed to projecting and marketing pounded yam for international recognition and patronage.
Ojo-Lanre disclosed this in an exclusive interview News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Lagos.
He stated that pounded yam is a major local cuisine associated with the people of Ekiti State, adding that the state is consciously taking steps to ensure international tourists always look forward to having the delicacy.
According to him, the state council visited Hungary and some other foreign countries where pounded yam was prepared using the local mortar and pestle and it generated huge interest among foreigners.
“Pounded yam is our cultural cuisine brand in Ekiti State; it means a lot to us and we are committed to projecting it for international recognition and patronage.
“We have been to like three countries to market this precious brand of ours and we received positive feedback.
“We will continue this until we are able to have pounded yam centres in foreign countries just like we have Chinese restaurants all around us here in the country,” he said.
The DG also said the council is exporting mortars and pestles in order to preserve tradition and maintain the culture of using the items in preparing pounded yam.
“We want to ensure people gain access to pounded yam across the globe
“We are also exporting the mortar and pestles used for its preparation in order to preserve and maintain our culture; we are proud of it.
“The Americans and Chinese have not allowed any aspect of their culture and tradition to be eroded, so we should not allow ours to slip through our fingers,” the DG stated.
Ojo-Lanre said it is high time Nigerians saw culture and arts beyond being fetish but as a means of wealth creation for individuals and
revenue generation for the country.
He urged Nigerians to explore the culture and art industries as creative economies to create jobs and get empowered for wealth creation.
“Our culture and arts should not be seen as barbaric, fetish or devilish, but we should try to create employment and revenue from them,”he added.