Nano-zinc oxide as a future fertilizer

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Pakistan is known as an agriculture country because agriculture is backbone of Pakistan. But now days the agriculture sector is facing various global challenges like urbanization, sustainable use of resources, shortage and high cost of fertilizers, climate changes and environmental issues such as runoff, anthropogenic activities which may leads to accumulation of fertilizers and pesticides. The more challenging problem is that human population is increasing day by day and demand of food is more but food is not enough. The estimated increase in world population is from current level of 6 billion to 9 billion by 2050. So we must have to adopt efficient techniques to make agriculture more sustainable.

In agriculture field, a new technology called Nanotechnology is introduced which is going to become dominant in transforming agriculture and food production. Nanotechnology has a great potential to qualify conventional agricultural practices. Nano-zinc oxide is introduced as a fertilizer through nanotechnology. Zinc oxide is an inorganic compound with the molecular formula ZnO. It appears as a white powder and is nearly insoluble in water. Zinc oxide can be changed into Nano form (10-100nm size) through different processes like precipitation method, sol-gel method and hydrothermal technique etc.

The colloidal solution of zinc oxide nano-particles is used as fertilizer. This type of Nano-fertilizer plays an important role in agriculture. Nano-fertilizer not only supplies nutrients for the plant but also brush up the soil without the harmful effects of chemical fertilizer. One of the most important advantage of Nano-fertilizers is that they can be used in very small amounts. Only 40-50 kg of Nano-fertilizer are required to adult tree, where its need of ordinary fertilizers is 150 kg. Nano-powders can be successfully used as fertilizers and pesticides as well. When wheat crop is grown with nanoparticles treated seed then its average yield increase up to 20-25 %.

Nanoparticles of different metal oxides can play important role to promote the growth and yield of plants.

Nano-fertilizer is more beneficial as compared to the other because,

• Three-times increase in Nutrient Use Efficiency (NUE).

80-100 times less requirement to chemical fertilizers.

Make the crop 10 times more stress tolerant than other fertilizers.

Complete bio-source, so eco-friendly.

It is not just used in agriculture sector but also it is used in other fields like

In Genetics through Nano-technology different modification can be done in crops for example rice colour can be changed from purple to green by using it.

It is also used in cosmetics by making sun blocker creams. They have intrinsic ability to filter ultraviolet UV-A as well as UV-B radiations.

It is also used in Nano-food industries. Today worlds facing food crisis and nanotechnology may hold the key to solve many critical issues regarding food. Nanotechnology can provide manipulation of food polymers that can made improvements in food quality and food safety.

In bio medical drug delivery Nano-zinc oxide is used because Zno has targeting potential, due to its capability it is used in the treatment of cancer. Like that it is also used in electronics, textile, energy store and defense security.

The application of Nano-Zinc Oxide is necessary because 70% Pakistan soil is zinc deficient. Zinc is one of the most important nutrient for plant, animal as well as human being. It is involved in the functioning of 300 enzymes in biological system. So, by the application of Nano-Zinc Oxide the requirement of crop as well as soil can be fulfill easily without more expenses. Through this technology, the demand of food can be overcome too much extent. So it is need of the hour to commercialize metal nanoparticles for sustainable agriculture.


Published in: Volume 07 Issue 17

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