Nanotechnology in agriculture is the application of extremely small tools such as sensors, which can be used for agricultural development. Nanotechnology is a new revolution in industries and has the potential to bring about drastic changes in the agricultural industry. Development of new nanotech-based tools and equipment help increase efficiency and overcome challenges faced by the agricultural industry. Nanotech-based tools significantly benefit the agricultural sector; they aid in early detection of diseases, improve plant’s ability to absorb nutrients, and promote molecular treatment of diseases. Implementation of nanotechnology in the form of small sensors and monitoring devices have created positive impact on the future uses of precision farming methodologies.
The global nanotechnology in agriculture market is driven by existing agro-chemical companies because they are investigating the potential of nanotechnologies to achieve high efficiency and greater penetration of technology into agricultural components used for plants. Various nano-products specifically used in the agricultural sector have been launched in the market by technology-oriented mid-sized companies that produce soil-enhancement products that promote even water distribution, storage, and consequently water saving.
The nanotechnology market has expanded substantially in the agriculture sector. Research has been carried out in the commercial agro-chemical sector to gauge the potential advantages of nanotechnology in agriculture. Emergence of nanotechnology applications in consumer products has also increased the number of ethical and societal concerns in some countries, which include health and environmental safety, consumer perception, and intellectual property rights.
The nanotechnology in agriculture market can be segmented into applications such as nanoscale carriers, nanolignocellulosic materials, clay nanotubes, biosensors, and others. Nanoscale carriers can be utilized for the efficient delivery of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and plant growth regulators. Its mechanism helps prevent degradation of plants, thereby reducing the chemical runoff into the environment. Nano carriers help improve stability against degradation in the environment and ultimately reduce the environmental problems. Nanolignocellulosic materials are obtained from crops and trees, leading to new opportunities for innovative and value-added nano-sized materials and products. Clay nanotubes are low cost pesticide carriers, extended release and have better contact with plants, and reduce the amount of pesticides used by 70–80%, hence it reduce the cost of pesticide and also the impact on water streams.
In terms of geography, the nanotechnology in agriculture market can be segregated into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Nanotechnology in agriculture is widely used in the U.S., Western European nations, and Japan. Countries such as Brazil, India, China, South Korea, South Africa and Thailand have significant growth in the use of nanotechnology. South Africa and Thailand have carried out significant nanotechnology research initiatives and established nation-wide activities focused on specific needs of the nanotechnology in agriculture.
Key players operating in the nanotechnology in agriculture market include Nanosys Inc, ASML Holding, Zyvex Labs, Oxford Instruments plc, Nanoco Group plc, and ThalesNano Inc.