Ofada town, founded by warriors who took part in the Egba-Oyo war in the 19th century, is inhabited by the Igboin and Igbore people of Egbaland. The community is famous for production of the local “Ofada rice” which is the favourite of many. The town is mostly inhabited by the Yoruba who speak Egba dialect. Other settlers, who include the Igbo, the Ijaw, the Igede and the Hausa co-exist with the indigenes under the leadership of a traditional ruler known as Baale. Leadership of the Ofada fell in the hands of Joseph of Afegada family after Sodipe, later Reuben and Lasisi Sowunmi,who was succeded by his son. The town had a bitter tale to tell during the Agbekoya disturbance of the 60s, as some able bodied men of the town were whisked away by soldiers and never returned.
Ofada town occupies a land mass of about 10,380 hectares which is largely agricultural. The population of the town is estimated at 50,000 males and 30,000 females according to the2006 census. The town is endowed with vast fertile land suitable for the cultivation of rice, kolanut, and sugar cane. Ofada town which stretches over 40 miles, shares boundaries with Sodipe, Folakan, Idioko, and Orioko villages. The destructive activities of birds threaten rice production for which the town is known for, discouraging farmers.
For a long time, the only primary school in Ofada was in a bad state and dangerous for learning. The people of Ofada are either Christians or Muslims. Unlike in other Yoruba speaking communities, idolatry does not have a place in Ofada town. The people of Ofada are predominantly farmers, mostly of arable crops such as cassava, rice, cocoyam, plantain, maize and vegetables, while cash crop such as palm produce and cocoa are also cultivated. Some of the people of the area also are in livestock and fisheries 1.
Oil proceeds since the 1960s pumped into the importation of rice and smuggling of it, however, killed production of the local rice. There have, however, been remarkable efforts at reviving production since the turn of the century. Large scale production in the south west and improvement in the milling technology have since restored patronage of Ofada rice.
There was a time rice farmers in Abakiliki, Ebonyi State; Ofada in Ogun State and Igbirno in Ekiti State produced the grain in reasonable quantities to serve as staple food for majority rpqc across the state of Nigerians. Production was crude counterpart, is attracting huge mix ot lice, stone and sand which demanded rigorous sitting by patronage 2.
1. Westerner April 6, 2009
2. The News April 16, 2007