Agriculture is the major source of income in developing countries, it provides food and fodder. Indian agriculture suffers from low productivity due to conventional farmers’ practices. Indian population is increasing at alarming rate. Therefore, it is crucial time to use  modern  technology  such  as  bio  and nanotechnology  to  maintain  the  ever increasing  demand  of  food  crops. Nanotechnology is defined as the branch of the science that deals with the understanding and control of matter at the dimensions of about 1-100 nm, and their implications for the welfare of human beings (US Environmental Protection Agency). Globally, a large proportion of people face daily `food shortage due to changing agro-climatic conditions particularly in developing countries. The situation is even poor in developing countries. Thus, there is need to develop drought and pest resistant crops with increased minerals uptake to maximize production level. Many scientists  have  reviewed  that nanotechnology will increases the crop yield by withstanding environmental conditions, detection and control  of  crop  diseases, improved  crops  with  efficient  capabilities for mineral uptake  from the soil. Although the scientific studies on the applications of nanotechnology in the agriculture are less than a decade old yet the prospects of nanotechnology in this field are considerable.  Nanotechnology gained attention in agriculture with the reports published by Roco (1999), the United States Department of Agriculture (2002), the Nano-forum (2006), etc.  These reports focused on nanotechnology research in agriculture applications.


It  has  been  envisioned  that  the  novel properties of nano-scale  biomaterials combined  with  indigenous  technologies would  have  many  innovative  applications for  agriculture. In India, applications of nanoparticles could be in the areas of nano-inputs, nano-food systems, Nano-biotechnology, and nano-remediation. However, nano-technology is likely to overwhelm all spheres of agricultural activities from tillage to silage, pre-sowing field preparations to post cooking and food serving, and seed germination to germplasm manipulation. The  nanoparticles  show  extraordinary features  which  are  not  exhibited  by  the materials  otherwise.  For  example,  surface area,  cation  exchange  capacity,  ion adsorption, complextion,  many  more properties  of  clays  would multiply  if  they are  brought to nano-size. Nanoparticles may have different surface composition, types, densities,  and reactivity with  respect to processes such as adsorption  and  redox  reactions.  These particles have high proportion of atoms present on their surface which could be used in synthesizing nano-materials of agricultural. The purpose of using fertilizers is to provide macro and micro nutrients absent/less in soil. The fertilizers directly affect the plant growth and crop productivity. However, use of  chemical  fertilizers  is  not  an economically  sustainable  solution  to  crop productivity,  while,  it  damages  the  soil health due to generation of toxic compounds by chemical reactions. Nanotechnology may answer these shortcomings of chemical fertilizers/pesticides and other agricultural conditions. The advanced technologies of 21st century are making a very significant impact on the world’s economy, industry and people’s lives.   The nanotechnology in agriculture would benefit in different ways for increasing yields of crops such as: –

  • to produce high temperature tolerant crops,
  • development of specialized pesticides for specific insects,
  • overcome  the  problems  of  global warming, 
  • Development of nanotubes that store rainwater in the soil so that plants can use it in drought.  

The nanotechnology has helped in making efficacious pesticides and prevention of dangerous dissemination in environment by placing these pesticides in nanometer capsules which can accurately control the rate of pesticide release from the capsule as per need of crops.


Source- Frontiers
  1. Detection and control of the plant diseases

Nanoparticles may be useful in the treatment and monitoring of food crops diseases by targeting pathogens. Some of the nanoparticles are nano-forms of carbon, silver, silica and alumina silicates that are use in control of crops diseases. It was reported that nano silver is the most exploited nanoparticles in biological system. The capsulated nano silver removes unwanted microbes in planting soils and restricts several other plant diseases.


Globally,  there  is  increasing  demands  for  safe  food  due  to  the  ever  increasing  population. Thus, technological advancement is necessary for completing demands of healthy food.  Nanotechnology can be boon in current scenario and used in the crops production and their processing. Several studies have been carried out to determine the applicability of nanotechnology in the detection of chemical and biological compounds in many types of food crops. Agro-nanotechnology focus on the sustainable food production and protection of food crops for both human nutrition and animal feeding and against pests and diseases. Food security is one of the biggest issues for every country. In future global need of food and nutrition by 2050 will be increased by 70% from current levels in a sustainable way. Thus, farmers must have new and innovative technologies and adopt modern farming practices to meet out the future challenges of agriculture based food.


The  augmentation  of  fertilizers  in  soil  is essential to supplement the soil fertility for better  yield  of  food  crops. However, the use of chemical fertilizers cause many adverse environmental effects and damaged the soil health. Thus, there is requirement a new cost effective ecofriendly technique for better

Crop production. In this context, the use of nano-fertilizers instead of using conventional  fertilizers  will  assist  in controlled  release  of  nutrients  in  soil  and prevent  loss  due  to  chemical  fertilizers. In nano-fertilization, nutrients may be entrapped using nano-materials coated with a thin film or delivered as emulsions.  The slow release of nutrients from nanoparticles coated fertilizers increase the use efficiency of nutrient by crops. Scientists reported the impacts of nano-fertilizers in sustainable agriculture.  Several  other researchers  reported  the  possible  use  of nano-fertilizers  as  an  alternative  to Conventional fertilization processes at low cost and in smaller quantity.

Source- IFFCO


In agriculture, pesticides or weedicides are used to control pests or weeds for increasing crop yield. However, they also damage the soil health.  Nano-pesticide is an agro-chemical combination used to overcome the problems caused by conventional pesticides. Several  types  of materials viz., surfactants, organic polymers and  mineral  nanoparticles  that  fall  in  the nanometer  size  range  are  used  in formulation  of  nano-pesticides. The new generation of nano-pesticides will be specific in action against insects and does not have any harm to other important insects of soil.

Source- Modern Farmer


The crops growth depends on proper agro-climatic conditions. For effective protection of crops, the fast and sensitive sensors are required to detect plant pathogens.  Nano-sensors can be use all over the agricultural fields for monitoring the fertility of soil and other agro climatic conditions. Such measures will lead to enhanced crops yield at very low economy (Rai and Ingle, 2012).  Researchers are working on nano systems for the release of fertilizers and pesticides as per agro-climatic conditions monitored by nano-sensors.  Nanotechnology is an eco-friendly and cost effective technology for agriculture. It offers several  benefits  in  agriculture  such  as detection  of  pathogens,  delivery  of  nano-pesticides  to  the  specific  target  sites,  and enhanced  absorption of nutrients in  plants. The  applications  of  nanotechnology  have great  potential  to  meet  out  the  future agricultural challenges such as food security.

Source- Allied Market Research

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