With the enormous increase in global population, there is an increasing
number of individuals to feed. Crop loss has become the biggest issue worldwide.
Insects (14%), weeds (13%) and various plant diseases (13%) play a very important
role in crop losses. The loss caused by plant diseases single-handedly causes an
estimated loss of 2 trillion dollars per year. Due to the increasing demand of food, the
use of synthetic chemicals has become today’s fastest, easiest and cheapest way to
control loss causing agents. But due to the immense use of these chemicals, it induces
adverse effect on the environment, human beings, animals and also depleting natural
resources. In the current scenario, there is a need to introduce control measures which
are effective and increase crop production but on the other hand, they must be less
harmful for the ecosystem. After the introduction of irrational use of fungicides, there
is always a posed threat to the living system, killing not only the target fungi but also
affecting beneficial living systems. Besides, there is an increase in resistance against
fungicides in the fungal pathogen. It is becoming necessary to reassess our strategies
and achieve disease management by alternate approaches such as nanotechnology.
Nanofungicides based on metals like silver (Ag), copper (Cu), etc. and nano-emulsion
has been becoming an important technology to tackle fungal pathogen problems in
agriculture, having immense potential to cope with the fungal pathogen in the future.
However, very little work has been done to bring this technology to field level.
Nanotechnology has substantially advanced in medicine and pharmacology, but has
received comparatively less interest for agricultural applications. They aim at acting
directly into the plant’s part where the pest or disease attacks, which means that only
the required amount of chemical is delivered to the plant tissue as medication.
Nanoparticles may act upon pathogens in a way similar to chemical pesticides or the
nanomaterials can be used as a carrier of active ingredients of pesticides, host defense
inducing chemicals, etc., to the target pathogens. It is a more appropriate and suitable
solution for crop protection and is also safer for the environment. It will improve
agricultural output in the coming years by solving the above-mentioned problems in
crop production therefore, extensive research work is needed. Nanotechnology may bring an evolution in industry as well as in the field of
dealing with fungal pathogens.