Friday, June 8, 2012

Farmers In India Are Benefiting From US Shale Production

The wonderful power of open international trade and capitalism. Farmers in India make money off of oil and gas drillers in the US.

From Reuters, "Shale energy triggers bean rush in India" by Meenakshi Sharma and Selam Gebrekidan:
U.S. companies drilling for oil and gas in shale formations have developed a voracious appetite for the powder-like gum made from the seeds of guar, or cluster bean, and the boom in their business has created a bonanza for thousands of small-scale farmers in India who produce 80 percent of the world's beans.

"Guar has changed my life," said Shivlal, a guar farmer who made 300,000 rupees ($5,400) - five times more than his average seasonal income - from selling the beans he planted on five acres (two hectares) of sandy soil in Rajasthan state.

"Now, I have a concrete house and a color TV. Next season I will even try to grow guar on the roof."

Guar gum, which is also used to make sauces and ice cream, is a main ingredient of the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process used to extract oil and gas from oil shale.

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