Prospects of nanotechnology for crop improvement and production

S. Diengngan
Nanotechnology is esteemed as one of the most crucial tools in modern agriculture, and agri-food nanotechnology is foreseen to become a propelling economic force in the near future. The world's population was estimated to be 8 billion people by 2025 and 9 billion by 2050, and it is extensively acknowledged that global agricultural productivity must surge to feed a rapidly budding world population. Nanotechnology delivers new agrochemical agents and new delivery mechanisms to progress crop productivity and reduces pesticide use. Nanotechnology application to the agriculture and food sectors is moderately recent as compared with its use in drug delivery and pharmaceuticals. Nanotechnology has the potential to protect plants, monitor plant growth, detect plant diseases, increase global food production, enhance food quality, and reduce waste for “sustainable intensification” by means of nanoformulations of agrochemicals as pesticides and fertilizers for crop improvement, appliance of nanosensors/nanobiosensors in crop protection for the detection of diseases and residues of agrochemicals, nanodevices for the genetic manipulation of plants, plant disease diagnostics and postharvest management. Food and agricultural production are among the most key fields of nanotechnology application. Nanotechnology utilities include nanoparticle-mediated gene or DNA transfer in plants to develop insect-resistant cultivars, nanofeed additives, food processing and storage and increased product shelf life. The potential benefits of nanotechnology for agriculture however need to be balanced against concerns for the soil, water, and environment and the occupational health of workers. Raising cognizance of nanotechnology in the agri-food sector, comprising feed and food ingredients, intelligent packaging and quick detection systems, is one of the sources in influencing consumer acceptance.
Diengngan, S. (2019). Prospects of nanotechnology for crop improvement and production. Acta Hortic. 1241, 247-254
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1241.34
agriculture, nano carriers, nanofertilizers, nanomaterials, nanoparticles

Acta Horticulturae