IIT Kanpur develops biodegradable nanoparticles to protect crops from disease


Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur have developed a biodegradable nanoparticle that can be used as an alternative to chemical pesticides and help farmers protect their crops against bacterial and fungal infections.

Invented as a biodegradable carbonoid metabolite (BioDCM), the nanoparticle can remain active at low concentrations and can be as effective as pesticides without negatively impacting soil and consumer health. IIT Kanpur claims that it is fast acting as it is applied in bioactive form and can withstand high temperatures.

According to IIT Kanpur, the nanoparticle was developed in collaboration with C. Kannan and Divya Mishra from ICAR-Indian Institute of Rice Research, and R Balamurugan and Mou Mandal from Hyderabad University School of Chemistry.

Abhay Karandikar, Director of IIT Kanpur, points out that “As the problems facing farmers are manifold, our efforts have also been tireless to enrich the entire agricultural ecosystem. Nanoparticles would reduce the worries of infection of crops and would give a boost to crop yield.”

A June 2021 report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) indicates that each year, farmers around the world lose up to 40% of their crops to insects and diseases, resulting in an estimated $290 billion loss to the global economy.

IIT Kanpur has developed several solutions to increase crop yield and solve many problems that affect Indian agriculture. For example, in December 2021, the institute launched a soil testing device called Bhu Parikshak that can measure soil health in 90 seconds. It was developed to solve the problem of time spent getting labs to test solid health. Farmers usually have to wait days for results from labs.

The use of natural products is growing in organic farming and products that are exported. Considering the biodegradable and non-harmful nature of the nanoparticle developed by IIT Kanpur, it can be expected to get a lot of attention from farmers who want to reduce the use of chemicals in agriculture. , especially pesticides.

IIT Kanpur has been very active in creating solutions to solve problems in the field. At the height of the covid-19 pandemic, the institute developed a reusable mask, an antiviral nasal filter and an oxygen concentrator. The institute filed 107 intellectual property rights (IPRs) in 2021, bringing its total number of IPRs to 810.

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