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India Advancing Nanotech for Sustainable Agriculture

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The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-Kanpur) and the African-Asian Rural Development Organisation (AARDO) have jointly organised an international training programme, focused on exploring the application of nanotechnology in promoting plant growth and crop protection for sustainable agriculture.

According to an IIT-Kanpur statement, the programme served as a forum for experts from diverse fields to discuss and deliberate on solutions to meet the urgent global challenge of achieving food security and promoting sustainability in agriculture.

It covered a wide range of topics, from the role of nanomaterials in establishing a sustainable microclimate for horticulture to exploring the potential applications of nano-biotechnology in enhancing plant nutrition. Notable sessions delved into discussions on smart agricultural practices, sustainable chemistry for promoting crop growth, and the integration of drones and agrivoltaic systems in agriculture.

Furthermore, it explored the application of microbial products in agriculture and the significance of biodegradable carbon-based nanomaterials in crop protection. The diverse range of subjects covered highlights the significant potential of nanotechnology in transforming sustainable practices in agriculture.

The workshop prioritised research with a focus on practical applications. Sessions like “Lab: Nanomaterials Development and Testing” and “Lab: Cultivation of Flavor and Fragrance Plant” were highlights. Furthermore, sessions such as “Agrivoltaic Systems: Combining Solar PV and Agriculture” and “Green Simulation Models in Agriculture” underscored the programme’s dedication to not only exploring theoretical advancements but also showcasing tangible real-world applications.

According to S Ganesh, Officiating Director, IIT-Kanpur, “This program is a confluence of ideas and innovations that highlights how nanotechnology can revolutionise sustainable agricultural practices. We are proud to have hosted this international event and are sure that the insights shared here will significantly take us towards a more sustainable and technologically advanced agricultural future.”

The workshop featured the participation of organisations like the Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research in Lucknow, the National Sugar Institute in Kanpur, the Fragrance and Flavour Development Centre in Kannauj, and others. Their participation played a pivotal role in integrating diverse perspectives and enhancing the overall richness of the workshop.

The IIT Kanpur-AARDO international programme workshop stands as a landmark event, setting a precedent for future collaborations in innovating the intersection of sustainable agriculture and nanotechnology. It is poised to inspire and guide future research and practices, laying the foundation for the development of more sustainable and efficient methodologies in agriculture, the statement said.

India is reliant on its agricultural sector and the key to enhancing the quality and dependability of its processes and products lies in modernisation. The government has initiated numerous technology-based solutions across various segments within the agricultural sector. Earlier this year, the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras revealed that its scientists are creating a portable, point-of-use device for identifying heavy metals in both soil and water.

In September, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare introduced an artificial intelligence (AI)-based Chatbot for the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme. It will help farmers in obtaining information about their application status, payment details, eligibility status, and other scheme-related updates.

This month, the Ministry introduced Krishi 24/7, an AI-driven system that automates the monitoring and analysis of agricultural news published online. As OpenGov Asia reported, the tool scans news articles written in multiple languages and translates them into English. It retrieves critical data from news articles, including the headline, crop name, event type, date, location, severity, summary, and source link.


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