Throw some light on the Nano-based Agri-input and food products. Highlight the opportunities and concerns associated with them.

The nanotechnology has redefined the contours of innovation and research. Nano-based agri-input and food products use nanotechnology (i.e. particles to the size of 10 nm) as inputs in agriculture.

Benefits:

  • Minimize wastage and effective application of inputs due to ability to deliver targetedly with high precision.
  • Environmentally more sustainable than blatant use of pesticides. 65% of agri land is at the risk of pesticide poisoning.
  • Higher productivity per unit land as compared to traditional methods.
  • Reduce input cost of agriculture as only the requisite dosage is provided.
  • Beneficial for farmer health. Cancer belt in Punjab due to overuse of inputs.
  • Reduces risk of land pollution and water pollution.
  • Helpful in ensuring food security.
  • Nutritional augmentation via bio-fortification.

Concerns:

  • Environment is a multi-variable thing and overall impact on ecosystem requires time for evaluation.
  • Risk on body and health is not fully studied.
  • Pest resistance as a construct needs to be evaluated.
  • Lack of R&D and high cost of diffusion of new technology.
  • Effect on food chain needs to be analyzed.

Therefore, despite its several promises, there are environmental and healthcare concerns that need to be addressed for successful and sustainable adoption.

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