The Impact of Agricultural Nanotechnology on the Future of Sustainable Farming

Applied Tech Review | Friday, December 03, 2021

By increasing crop output and restoring and improving soil quality.

FREMONT, CA:  The agricultural sector is confronted with huge issues, including rapid climate change, soil fertility loss, macro-and micronutrient insufficiency, excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and heavy metal contamination of the soil. Global population growth, on the other hand, has increased food demand. By boosting crop output and restoring and improving soil quality, nanotechnology has contributed to sustainable agriculture.

Agriculture utilizes nanotechnology in a variety of ways, including the following:

  • Delivery of nano pesticides
  • Nanoparticles carrying biofertilizers are released slowly and precisely.
  • Genetic resources for crop development are transported.
  • Nanobiosensors are being used to detect phytopathogens and other biotic and abiotic stressors rapidly.

This article discusses modern nanotechnology applications in sustainable agriculture and how they influence agricultural development in the future.

Farmers' lack of awareness and excessive use of pesticides has detrimental effects on agricultural land since harmful agrochemicals pollute surface and groundwater. Chemical pesticides can deplete the soil of vital microbes, insects, and other species. All of the preceding has a cumulative effect on the ecology, degrading it significantly.

The Agricultural Sector's Widespread Use of Nanoparticles

Agriculture makes commercial use of a variety of nanoparticles. The following are some of the most often utilized nanoparticles:

Polymeric nanoparticles: Polymeric nanoparticles are employed in agriculture for the gradual and controlled administration of agrochemicals. Among the benefits of polymeric nanoparticles are their higher biocompatibility and low toxicity to unintended organisms. Polyethene glycol, poly(epsilon-caprolactone), poly(lactide-co-glycolides), and poly (-glutamic acid are only a few of the polymeric nanomaterials that are employed in agriculture.

Silver nanoparticles: Silver nanoparticles are widely used due to their antibacterial activity against a diverse array of phytopathogens. Silver nanoparticles have also been shown to boost plant development, according to scientists.

Nano alumino-silicates: Numerous chemical manufacturers employ nano alumino-silicate formulations as an effective insecticide.

Titanium dioxide nanoparticles: Biocompatible, these nanoparticles are employed as a water disinfectant.

Carbon nanomaterials: Improved seed germination is achieved using carbon nanoparticles such as graphene, graphene oxide, carbon dots, and fullerenes.

Zinc oxide, copper oxide nanoparticles, and magnetic nanoparticles are also employed in agriculture.

Agricultural Nanotechnology for Crop Productivity Enhancement

Nano pesticides and nano herbicides: To control weeds and pests, nano herbicides and nano pesticides have significantly boosted agricultural productivity. Nanoherbicide formulations contain a variety of nanoparticles, including polymeric nanoparticles and inorganic nanoparticles.

Scientists have devised a variety of effective delivery methods for herbicides. Poly (epsilon-caprolactone) nanoparticles, for example, encapsulate the pesticide atrazine. This nanocapsule demonstrated effective management of the targeted species, a decreased degree of genotoxicity, and the ability to reduce atrazine mobility in the soil dramatically.

Nanomaterials for the treatment of disease: Each year, agriculture suffers enormous losses due to microbiological (virus, fungus, and bacteria) illnesses.

Antimicrobial nanomaterials having specific characteristics aid in the prevention of microbiological infections. Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium solani, and Dematophoranecatrix are more frequent pathogenic fungi that cause disease.

Numerous nanoparticles, including nickel ferrite and copper nanoparticles, exhibit significant antifungal activity and benefit disease management. In treating viral infections, chitosan nanoparticles, zinc oxide nanoparticles, and silica nanoparticles are effective against viruses such as the tobacco mosaic virus, potato mosaic virus, and alfalfa mosaic virus.

Nano fertilizers: Scientists employed nanotechnology to develop a smart delivery system that would distribute nutrients to the targeted site in a slow and regulated manner, thereby addressing the nutrient deficit in plants.

By increasing the availability of vital nutrients to the plant, nano fertilizers boost agricultural output.

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