The Groundnut Pyramid of Northern Nigeria

If the mention of pyramid made you picture a huge structure like those seen in Egypt, only this time made with bags of groundnut piled and arranged into a massive pyramid, then congratulations, you just cracked the case.

These pyramids were built in northern Nigeria in cities such as Kano, where groundnut production was the major source of income, serving as both tourist attraction and a show of wealth.

Men stacking sacks of groundnuts to create a large pyramid , Kano, , NIGERIA

The Groundnut Pyramid was invented by Alhassan Dantata, a prominent nut trader.
Dantata came to Kano in 1919 and within five years was one of the most successful businessmen, supplying the Royal Niger Company (RNC) with most of their groundnuts.

Alhassan Dantata

Dantata’s company kept their groundnuts at a facility in Kofar Nassarawa, and they stacked the bags in the shape of a pyramid before they were shipped.
It is estimated that one groundnut pyramid could be made from as much as 15,000 full groundnut bags.

The pyramids became synonymous with Nigeria’s agriculture wealth; a postage stamp even featured a groundnut pyramid.
However, as groundnut production declined in the 1970s and 80s as the attention of Nigerian government shifted from ground to oil, the groundnut pyramids disappeared and were replaced with buildings.

Recently, the Nigerian government has made efforts to revive the groundnut industry and rebuild the pyramids.

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