A group of innovators in agricultural technology developed a nanotechnology proposal that will enable agricultural producers to use fewer agrochemicals without compromising on the food security of their crops, as well as reduce environmental damage, stated the Government Secretariat of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation.
The project, which is based in the Miguelete campus of the National University of San Martín (Unsam) and managed by Nanótica Agro, involves the use of nanotechnology for applying herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and fertilizers, through the use of capsules that have similar membranes to plants.
Through this method, doses of agrochemicals can be more effectively controlled, decreasing the amount of product normally absorbed or contaminating the soil.
"We will provide producers with a nanotizing machine and empty capsules, so they can nanoencapsulate the agrochemicals of their choice before use," said Julio Laurenza, one of the project managers of Nanótica Agro.
"Nanotized particles penetrate plant cells and tissue more effectively than traditional particles, due to its nano size, which is in the order of one millionth of a millimeter. That is why our technology will enhance the effectiveness of agrochemicals, even in lower doses than recommended," he added.
"By optimizing the effectiveness of agrochemicals, this technology lowers costs, because it lowers required doses. So, if a producer spends 30 dollars per hectare, the subsequent cost will be around 10 dollars less under the same conditions," explained Matías Badano, another member of the project.
The kit, which is still in prototype stage, is expected to enter the market in the middle of 2021.