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IIT Kanpur-AARDO Workshop pioneers Sustainable Agricultural Practices through Nanotechnology

The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) recently hosted an international training program in association with the African-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) on the role of nanotechnology in plant growth and crop protection for sustainable agriculture. The program held from November 10-19, 2023 provided a platform for experts from various disciplines to deliberate on solutions to meet the pressing global challenge of ensuring food security and sustainability in agriculture.

The training program began with an inaugural session by Prof. S V Shukla, which set the tone for informative sessions and enlightening discussions over the week that followed. Topics covered ranged from the role of nanomaterials in creating a sustainable microclimate for horticulture to the potential applications of nano-biotechnology in plant nutrition. Notable sessions included discussions on smart agriculture practices, sustainable chemistry for crop growth, and the use of drones and agrivoltaic systems in agriculture.

A highlight of the workshop was the emphasis on research for practical applications, with sessions such as “Lab: Nanomaterials Development and Testing” by Prof. Mainak Das and “Lab: Cultivation of Flavor and Fragrance Plant” during a visit to FFDC Kannauj. Sessions such as “Agrivoltaic systems: Combining Solar PV and Agriculture” and “Green Simulation Models in Agriculture” underlined the program’s commitment to not only discussing theoretical advancements but also showcasing real-world applications.

Prof. S Ganesh, Officiating Director, IIT Kanpur, in his statement, expressed his enthusiasm about the workshop’s success. “This program is a confluence of ideas and innovations that highlights how nanotechnology can revolutionize sustainable agricultural practices. We are proud to have hosted this international event and are sure that the insights shared here will significantly take us towards a more sustainable and technologically advanced agricultural future.”

Prof J. Ramkumar, Department of Mechanical Engineering & Design who is also the Coordinator for ImLab, MedTech Lab & RuTAG IIT Kanpur said, “The collaboration between AARDO and IIT Kanpur will open new avenues for research and development in agriculture. The diverse range of topics covered in this workshop, from microbial products in agriculture to the role of biodegradable carbon-based nanomaterials in crop protection, highlights the huge potential that nanotechnology holds in transforming sustainable practices in agriculture.”

The workshop also featured participation of organizations like the Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow, National Sugar Institute, Kanpur, Fragrance & Flavour Development Centre, Kannauj, and others, which were pivotal in integrating various perspectives and enriching the workshop.

Prof. J. Ramkumar, (HAG), Dept. of ME & Design, FNAE, FETE, FIE(I), SC Agarwal Chair Professor, Coordinator for ImLab, MedTech Lab & RuTAG IIT Kanpur, and Dr. Amandeep Singh, FIE(I), MIEEEE, LMISTE, Institute Ambassador, IIC IIT Kanpur were the Program Coordinators. On behalf of AARDO, Dr. Sanjeeb Behera, Head, IEC Division, AARDO and Mr. Kamal Dhameja, Technical Officer, AARDO were the Program Coordinators.

The IIT Kanpur-AARDO international program workshop has been a landmark event and sets a precedent for future collaborations for innovations in the field of sustainable agriculture and nanotechnology. This will inspire and guide future research and practices, paving the way for more sustainable and efficient agricultural methodologies.

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