Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur have developed a biodegradable nanoparticle that can be used to protect crops from bacterial and fungal infections in place of chemical-based pesticides. The nanoparticle, known as Biodegradable Carbonoid Metabolite (BioDCM), can be as effective as pesticides at low concentrations while having no negative impact on soil or consumer health.
According to IIT Kanpur, because it is applied in bioactive form and can withstand high temperatures, this nanoparticle acts quickly. It was developed in collaboration with the ICAR-Indian Institute of Rice Research’s C. Kannan and Divya Mishra, as well as the University of Hyderabad’s School of Chemistry’s R Balamurugan and Mou Mandal.
According to Abhay Karandikar, director of IIT Kanpur, “Because farmers face a variety of challenges, we have worked tirelessly to improve the farming ecosystem as a whole. Nanoparticles would reduce crop infection concerns while increasing crop yield.”
According to a June 2021 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), farmers around the world lose up to 40% of their crops to insects and diseases each year, resulting in a $290 billion loss to the global economy.
IIT Kanpur has created a number of solutions to increase crop yield and address many of the issues that face Indian agriculture. For example, the institute will launch Bhu Parikshak, a soil testing device that can measure soil health in 90 seconds, in December 2021.
It was created to address the issue of time spent in labs getting solid health tested. Typically, farmers must wait several days for lab results.
Natural products are becoming more popular in organic farming and export products. Given the biodegradable and non-harmful nature of the nanoparticle developed by IIT Kanpur, it is likely to attract a lot of attention from farmers looking to reduce their use of chemicals in farming, particularly pesticides.
IIT Kanpur has been very active in developing real-world solutions. The institute developed a reusable mask, an antiviral nasal filter, and an oxygen concentrator during the height of the covid-19 pandemic. The institute filed 107 Intellectual property rights (IPRs) in 2021, bringing its total IPRs to 810.