Nano is all set for the agriculture revolution

Nano is all set for the agriculture revolution
The global population is one among the ever increasing parameters of the earth. It is expected to surpass 8.2 billion in two more decades. This population growth creates sequential increase in variety of needs, such as food, feed, fuel, etc. which directly rely on the agricultural field for increased crop production. Consequently, the agriculture sector is being over ruled by an infinite pressure for increasing the production. Being limited by the land source, yield improvement is the only way for the sector. Though Science and Technology is facilitating agricultural improvement through various practices including irrigation systems, production and application of fertilizers, pesticides, development of hybrid and resistant varieties, etc. the growth of Indian agriculture sector is constantly declining every year. This makes the vision of achieving an increased growth by 2020 a questionable determination. The trailing of growth is predominantly due to the limited availability of land resources, water resources and soil deficiency. Among these, the growing nutrient deficiencies are considered to be the most important issue and are the main cause for the reduction or stagnation of the yield. This deficiency over the Asian region can effectively be overcome by proper supply of fertilizers to the irrigation land.

Though the fertilizers are produced and applied to the agriculture fields with the intention of supplying macro and micro nutrients to the soil and to increase the crop yield, there are always problems associated with them. Nitrogen which is the key source of nutrient for agricultural production is being supplied to the field through important elements of fertilizers. But the amount of nitrogen applied is not fully utilised by the plants and about 50 to 70 % of the nitrogen applied is being lost in the form of water soluble nitrates, emission of gaseous ammonia, nitrogen oxide and incorporation into the organic matter of the soil by micro-organisms. Hence, always there is a need for increasing the nitrogen use efficiency and is consequently increasing the usage of fertilizers which ultimately converts the agriculture fields as a dumping ground of these inorganic sources. This also increases the risk of environmental pollution. Hence, there is an indefinite need for the development of newer technologies associated to efficiency enhancement of existing fertilizers and the resultant products are likely to be Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers which can minimise the potential of nutrient loss and also reduce the risk of pollution and economic burden of the farmers.

Variety of Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers, such as those supporting controlled release, slow release and those with stabilized nitrogen sources have been developed and are continuously being under research for improved efficacy. This area of research is highly boosted and facilitated by the biotechnological and nanotechnological discoveries. Of these, plant biotechnological based development improves the demand for different forms; whereas, nanotechnology is well focused to improve the efficiency of the fertilizers. Nanotechnology is actively involved in improving the field of agriculture through variety of activities, such as nano-based interactive farm surveillance, nano-based farm management systems, nano-boosted genetic engineering methodologies for plant development, nano-based formulations of agrochemicals, etc. Nanotechnology is widely opening a new array of potential fertilizers, plant growth regulators, pesticides and other agro chemicals. A predominant sector of nanotechnology is focusing on nano reformulations of existing agrochemicals. Nanoparticles have been identified to be better growth promoters and regulators. Many institutions and industries in Indian sub-continent have also started focusing on the research and pilot scale activities on nano products. Proceedings of the current activities in nanotechnology provide a biggest hope for a better tomorrow for our Indian agriculture, and nano is also set to make the green revolution again.

How to cite this article:
Selvakumar Krishnamoorthy. Nano is all set for the agriculture revolution. BioLim O-Media. 15 May, 2017. 5(5).
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