Specialists from the Scientific Research Center of Yucatan (CICY) developed a fertilizer via nanotechnology that potentiates nutrients for agricultural crops and increases their production by more than 200 percent.
The scientific project was led by Dr. Ileana Echevarría Machado, a researcher at the Unit of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Plants of the CICY, who explains that current fertilizers are very inefficient.
“Of the one hundred percent that is applied of these products, up to 70 percent can be wasted by the plant, which leads to significant contamination, either to the atmosphere (greenhouse gases) or leachates to the water table”, the specialist points out.
This led researchers in biotechnology, natural resources, biochemistry, and CICY materials to develop and synthesize a nano-sized material capable of introducing nitrogen as a nutrient to the plant.
They tested it in different species and under different conditions, both in a greenhouse and in vitro in the laboratory through different tests to evaluate its effects, as well as its toxicity in animal and plant cells, and in soil microorganisms.
“Our nanofertilizer, under in vitro conditions has an important effect on the growth of plants and, in fact, in greenhouse conditions, it was proven that it increases between two and a half to three times the yields in habanero peppers”, points out the doctor of sciences and plant biotechnology.
He adds that this technology will address problems such as the inefficient use of nutrients in plants, low yields in crops, severe environmental stress and food security. The reduction of the environmental impact and the disuse of imported fertilizers also stand out as advantages.
“This technology will help agricultural producers to increase their yield by 200 percent,” the scientist reiterates.
It should be noted that this project participated in the mentoring of Cohorte 2018 of the Binational Node of Southeast Innovation (NoBI Southeast), under the I Corps methodology. This facilitated the researchers to conduct more than one hundred interviews to agricultural producers and distributors of fertilizers from different regions of the country, to know the demand of the sector, in order to adapt their technology to these needs.
They also discovered the commercialization potential of their nanotechnology, because they could know the market very well and establish contact with fertilizer distributors.
Source: La Jornada
The Mazatlan Post