Waiting for accelerations. Speculating on guar seeds in the Indian desert

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt


This article unfolds how an extreme acceleration in the price of a seed in 2012 changed farming in a rural area of India by reorienting the imagined sources of wealth in farming. The seed in question is guar which have been grown for centuries for cow fodder, but which is also used in fracking, and because of a growing international demand combined with a limited supply and wild speculation, the prices in 2012 grew exponentially with 1500% in a period of 3 months, after which it crashed at a similar rate. The article argues that this acceleration of prices caused an escalation that changed the perspective of change for farmers. it shifted the main focus from farming as a repetitive event tied to the seasonal weather changes, to one of future potentiality tied to sudden market movements. This shift in the scale of measuring change in farming moved farmers from producing seeds to also speculating in seeds, through methods of trading and stocking. The guar price acceleration opened up to imaginaries of new avenues of future income from farming that was not flowing in with the rain, but with the market.

TidsskriftHistory and Anthropology
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)18-31
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Danish Research Council for Independent Research [grant number DFF?4001-00223].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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