To address the increasing challenges of sustainable production and food security, significant technological advancements and innovations have been made in recent years in the field of agriculture. Such continuous agricultural innovations are crucial to meet the increasing food demand of exploding global population through the uses of natural and synthetic resources. In particular, nanotechnology has potential to provide effective solutions to the multiple agriculture-related problems. Nanoparticles (NPs) are organic, inorganic or hybrid materials with at least one of their dimensions ranging from 1 to 100 nm (at the nanoscale). . Nanotechnology is considered as one of the key technologies in the twenty-first century that promises to advance traditional agricultural practices and offer sustainable development by improving the management and conservation tactics with reduced waste of agricultural inputs.To bridge the gap between bulk materials and atomic or molecular structures, nanoparticles provide a great scientific interest. Over the last two decades, a significant amount of research has been carried out on nanotechnology emphasizing its numerous applications in agriculture sectors . Fertilizer application plays a pivotal role in increasing the agricultural production; however, the excessive usages of fertilizers irreversibly alter the chemical ecology of soil, further reducing the available area for crop production. Sustainable agriculture entails a minimum use of agrochemicals that can eventually protect the environment and conserve different species from extinction. Notably, nanomaterials enhance the productivity of crops by increasing the efficiency of agricultural inputs to facilitate site-targeted controlled delivery of nutrients, thereby ensuring the minimal use of agri-inputs. Indeed, the assistance of nanotechnology in plant protection products has exponentially increased, which may assure increased crop yield. Moreover, the major concern in agricultural production is to enable accelerated adaptation of plants to progressive climate change factors, such as extreme temperatures, water deficiency, salinity, alkalinity and environmental pollution with toxic metals without threatening existing sensitive ecosystems . In addition, the development and exploitation of nanosensors in precision farming, to measure and monitor crop growth, soil conditions, diseases, uses and penetration of agrochemicals and environmental pollution have substantially improved the human control of soil and plant heath, quality control and safety assurance contributing much to sustainable agriculture and environmental systems . Nanomaterial engineering is the cutting-edge track of research that supports the development of high-tech agricultural fields by offering a wider specific surface area crucial for the sustainable development of agriculture systems . Therefore, nanotechnology can not only reduce the uncertainty, but also coordinate the management strategies of agricultural production as an alternative to conventional technologies. In many instances, agro-nanotech innovations offer short-term techno-fixes to the problems faced in modern industrial agriculture. The emergence of engineered nanomaterials and their actions within the frame of sustainable agriculture have revolutionized world agriculture canvass dramatically by novelty, fast growth and enormity to meet the projection of global food demand. In sustainable agriculture, the protection of the environment from pollution is the crucial target for trade, and nanomaterials provide an assurance of better management and conservation of inputs to plant production. The potential of nanomaterials encourages a new green revolution with reduced farming risks. However, there are still huge gaps in our knowledge of the uptake capacity, permissible limit and the ecotoxicity of different nanomaterials . Therefore, further research is urgently needed to unravel the behavior and fate of altered agriculture inputs and their interaction with biomacromolecules present in living systems and environments.
By Amna Bibi