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Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:17 AM

Beans mean high profits for guar farmers of Rajasthan{fracking use}


Guar farming in India - the bean was mostly used as cattle feed until its use in fracking became apparent. Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters

There's no fracking in Rajasthan, but hydraulic fracturing (to give it is proper name) has drastically changed the landscape of one of the poorest places on earth.

India's biggest state is the world's number one producer of guar beans, a little known seed which is used to make ice cream and gives tomato ketchup its gloopiness, but which turns out to be integral to successful fracking.

Since fracking took off at the end of 2010 the price of guar, a bean of the Galactomannan family that can be used to thicken water in the drilling process, increased 15-fold to $25 (15) a kilo this summer.

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