Nanotechnology in Agriculture

Introduction- Agriculture has always become a backbone of developing countries. Nanotechnology can be exploited in the value chain of entire agriculture production system. Nanotechnology is a sixth revolution technology after industrial revolution (mid 1700s), nuclear energy revolution (1940s), green revolution (1960s), information technology (1980s) and biotechnology (1990s).

Nanotechnology now a emerging and fast growing field of science. Nanotechnology means like nanocapsules, nanoparticles are examples of uses for the detection and treatment of diseases. Nanotechnology will revolutionize agriculture and food industry such as in case of farming techniques, enhancing the ability of plants to absorb nutrients, disease detection and control pests.

Application of Nanotechnology in Agriculture :-
1. Nanotechnology in seed science: –

  • Seed is nature’s nano gift to man.
  • Nanotechnology can used to harness the full potential of seed.
  • Nano coating of seeds using elemental forms of zinc, Mn, pa, pt, ag will not only protect seeds but used in far less quantities today.
  • Seed can imbibe with nanoencapsulations with specific bacterial strain termed as smart seed.
  • Smart seed can be programmed to germinate when adequate moisture is available.

2. Nanotechnology in water use: –

  • Water purification using nanotechnology exploits nanoscopic material such as carbon nanotubes and nano filtration.
  • It also utilizes the nanoscopic pores in zeolite filtration membrane as well as nanocatalysts.
  • It can be used for removal of sediments, chemical effluents, charged particles, bacteria and other pathogens.

3. Nanotechnology in plant protection: –

  • A nanotechnology approach namely nanoencapsulation can be used to improve the insecticidal value.
  • Nanoencapsulation comprises nanosized particles of the active ingredient being sealed by a thin-walled sac or shell.
  • Nanoencapsulation of insecticides, fungicides and nematicides will help in producing formulation which offers effective in control of pests.
  • Clay nanotubes have been developed as a Carrier of pesticides at low cost.

Advantages of nanotechnology in agriculture: –

  • Nanotechnology monitors a leading agricultural controlling process, especially by its miniature dimension.
  • Additionally, many potential benefits such as enhancement of food quality and safety, reduction of agricultural inputs, enrichment of absorbing nanoscale nutrients from the soil, etc.

Disadvantages of nanotechnology in agriculture: –

  • Potential dangers to humans and the environment.
  • Loss of manufacturing and agricultural jobs.
  • Economic market crashes related to a potential lower value of oil due to more efficient energy sources and gold or diamonds, materials that can be reproduced with molecular manipulation.

Mr. Prashant Sharma, B.Sc IInd Year, School of Agricultural Sciences, Career Point University, Kota

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