WSJ -- "From its place on humble Indian tables, a little-known Indian bean called “guar” is making the fortunes of poor farmers. The demand for guar has soared since gum made from guar seeds started being used to extract shale gas late last year.

Mostly grown in the heart of India’s desert lands, the price of the vegetable has jumped from about 40 rupees ($0.70) a kilogram at the time of the September-October harvest to around 300 rupees ($5.40) per kilogram today. As a result, barefoot farmers who until recently struggled to make a living are now riding cars and motorbikes and carefully locking the seeds away.

Around 80% of the 1.2 million tons of guar that were harvested last season were snapped up for oil and gas drilling. India produces 80% of the global guar crop. Pakistan and the U.S. are a distant second and third, and all are trying to increase production."

HTs: Marginal Revolution and Energy-in-Depth