Impact of nano-entities in agriculture

Impact of nano-entities in agriculture
Nanotech has the potential to bring about drastic changes in the agricultural industry. The development of new nanotech-based tools and equipment may help to increase efficiency and overcome challenges faced by the agricultural industry. The ultimate goal of nanomachine technology is the production of the “assembler”. The assembler is a nanomachine designed to manipulate matter at the atomic level. The burgeoning applications of nanotechnology in agriculture will continue to rely on the problem-solving ability of the material and are unlikely to adhere very rigidly to the upper limit of 100 nm. This is because nanotechnology for agricultural applications will have to address the large-scale inherent imperfections and complexities of farm production systems (e.g. extremely low input use efficiency) that might require nanomaterials with flexible dimensions, which nevertheless perform tasks efficiently in agricultural production systems. This is in contrast with nanomaterials that might be working well in well-knit factory-based production systems.

The process of maximising crop yields and minimising the usage of pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides through efficient monitoring procedures is referred to as precision farming. Precision farming utilises remote sensing devices, computers and global satellite positioning systems to analyse various environmental conditions in order to determine the growth of plants under these conditions and identify problems related to crops and their growing environments. Precision farming helps determine plant development, soil conditions, usage of water and chemicals, fertilizers and seeding, and controls environmental pollution to a minimum extent by reducing agricultural waste.

The implementation of nanotechnology in the form of small sensors and monitoring devices will create a positive impact on the future use of precision farming methodologies. Nanotech-enabled systems help in increasing the use of autonomous sensors that are linked into GPS systems to provide efficient monitoring services focused on crop growth and soil conditions. The usage of smart sensors in precision farming will result in increased agricultural productivity by providing farmers with accurate information that will enable them to make accurate decisions related to plant growth and soil suitability.

Nanotechnology will play a vital role in the development of the agricultural sector as it is capable of being used in agricultural products that protect plants and monitor plants’ growth, and detect diseases. If the technology is made available to the farmers at an affordable cost, the advantages will be two-fold.
  • Farmers will be able to get more produce in methods like precision farming which will help them move out of the poverty line.
  • India being a predominantly agriculture-based economy, around 50% of the population is based on the agricultural sector while the contribution to GDP remains poor (14%); revolutionising the sector with nanotechnology to move it out of slumber will help the nation a lot.
  • Restoration of damaged/depleted ecosystems is a possibility under nanotechnology, which assumes importance in the face of the concept of sustainability and environmental protection.

  • How to cite this article:
    Pugazhendhi J. Impact of nano-entities in agriculture. BioLim O-Media. 06 April, 2016. 4(4).
    Available from: http://archive.biolim.org/omedia/read/BOMA0114.