Nanotechnology as a research field is now well matured and finds applications in diverse but niche fields. In the Covid times, nanotechnology went through a new phase of development in health and biomedical applications, demonstrating its importance and relevance in times of health crisis. Nanoparticle based therapeutics, diagnostic tools and sensors have found new avenues of applications.
Another area where nanotechnology holds huge potential to tap is the field of agriculture. While agriculture is a traditional sector for India, nanotechnology could offer precision agriculture by controlled delivery of nutrients, biopesticides and other growth promoters. Long term sustainability of any new technological intervention is determined by how it responds to obligations of economic, environmental and societal pressures pertinent to agri- food industry. While nanotechnology is widely accepted as a transformative technology capable of addressing global challenges in food safety and security, the rapid market penetration of nanotechnology incorporated agri-food products with considerable uncertainties regarding their short and long term impact on human and environmental health, has sparked outcry from general public and experts. Evidently, developing and implementing sustainable nanotechnology solutions demands the advancement of knowledge frontiers in technology, hazard profiling of nanomaterials as well as addressing social and regulatory issues. Greener methods of nanomaterials synthesis and/or identifying cost effective nanomaterials (preferably of natural chemistry) with scale up capabilities along with the knowledge and responding to societal concerns on nanomaterials applications are warranted for addressing the stake-holder values on environmental, economic and societal pillars of sustainability.
This conference aims to bring together expertise from academia, industry and regulatory agencies to foster discussion and potentially collaborations that will enhance the technological and research capabilities and empower agriculture and agri-food industry.