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Module 1: Historical Perspectives of Agriculture

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Video 1: Aspects of Agriculture
So, coming back to ancestors possibly through a trial and error they develop all these differenttechniques, different methodologies that we followed today and with the understandingof nanotechnology we are now appreciating some of those beautiful tools that had beendeveloped by our ancestors.So with these 2 examples let me formally introduce the course.This is essentially what we will be doing is nanotechnology, these are all keywordsand agriculture.So what essentially when you talk about agriculture, we talk about multiple areas of agriculture,one is the crop, within the crop you have multiple kinds of crops which include grains,which includes legumes or pulses, vegetables and they have different name like, then youhave fruit, then you have fodder, spices, seeds of cash crops.And this let us can go on then you have this is, of course, a cash crop, sugar crops, andthese different crops, say for example this area and of course, you have and this youhave flowers, this is the different area called floriculture, vegetables (03:07).They all fall under the horticultural section, so not only agriculture encompasses the crops,this is one aspect.The second aspect of agriculture is animal production, this is the second part of agriculture,crop production, we have already mentioned here, so the crop production, animal production,second aspect, third aspect sorry of is.So within animal production before I here you have poultry, fishery, dairy and of coursethe meat sector and apart from it you have several animalswhich are being grown or which are being followed for different other applications like youknow camels, then you have llamas, then you have yaks, so the series of them, this iswhere you have different food products coming out of it, the third aspect of agricultureis your food preservation.Because and storage food preservation, grain preservation and storage, and transportation,this is another area which is prime importance which falls under a big heading which is calledfor of course for the grain and the food ok.If it is not for an animal origin, so this is false and in the case of grains is fallsunder post-harvest technology whereas for food preservation if it is ofplant origin or any kind of vegetative origin.Then, of course, a normal plant origin or animal origin which includes including frompreservation of milk called that to the preservation of meet in all other products.And then comes one of the most challenging areas of storage and transportation and inthis journey of agriculture where which includes all the production practices what we do froma crop, animal and preservation.These are the 3 basic areas and here I should include this also includes when you talk aboutflowers on how to preserve the flowers.And they have a lot of usage in terms of cosmetics in the industry, perfume industry, severalother industries which have branched out from the world of flowers.Now having said this, so this is the whole range of agriculture that we deal with andin terms of nanotechnology to talk about certain things.In the very beginning that will include our the first thing thatbasic nanomaterial, this nanomaterial could be several kinds, it could be a particle,it could be a tube, it could be a sheet, it could be a gel or it could be a suspension,some kind of a mesoporous suspension.Now when we talked about this wide area of nanoparticles then you have to realize wehave to have different characterization tools to appreciate them.And this is what I was telling you in the beginning, so we have to use see the characterizationtools which includes your SEM scanning electron microscopy, STM scanning tunneling microscopy,high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, AFM atomic force microscopy, XPS x-ray photoelectronspectroscopy, FTIR Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy likewise then x-ray diffractionfor different kind of surface analysis you have BET.So the other several techniques are there and many more techniques are there which Ihave not used here or which are needed to characterizing these particles.So, next when we are applying these particles for some application, then we have to realizeat what level we are trying to use them, say for example when we talk about using nanomaterialsin agriculture.

Video 2: Nanomaterials in Agriculture
When we are using the material in agriculture we have to understand what water level orwe apply this to the soil or we apply this to the plant.We are applying this to the plant or we applying it to the root or we applying this to theshoot or we are doing foliar spray or a floral spray.In case of animals when you talk about because are we giving this as a feed to them or weinjecting them or we are using them as skin patches, how we are offering them.Now in terms of using nanomaterials in agriculture when you talk about the post-harvest technologywhich if you follow me, this will so this part.So, we talked about where you are using, so this is where I was trying to explain at whatlevel you are using it in terms of animal production how you are introducing it.And now coming to the post-harvest technology which is very critical because this is wherethe process the food which is getting processed out of it from all these different sourcesare combining or we so this is for the post-harvest technology or we adding them to food or theyare just being used for transportations purpose like you know.While we have to transport food from one place to another, we coat the boxes or coat thebags with a certain material or something or is it just that.So you realize the very moment we talked about that we are introducing something into thesoil that means you are infringing into the ecosystemor when we say we are introducing something to the roots of the plant or shoot of theplant or we are doing a foliar spray or we are doing a floral spray.So that one becomes the biomass is getting into the ecosystem, all get into the ecosystem.And eventually, this part of the soil that we are talking about is allowing these thingsto become part of the water body.So in another world the very moment we are introducing newly synthesize nanomaterialinto the agricultural sector.We are talking about introducing newer stuff into our ecosystem.And what will be the impact of it over the years is something which has to be lookedupon very carefully.Now with this chart in front of you, you must be realizing why this subject is of so muchprime importance for us that as we are marching.This is for sure the nanotechnology is the future, there is no looking back and nanotechnologyand the different nanomaterials what we have talked about out here whether it is a particle,whether it is a tube, whether it is a sheet, whether it is a gel, whether it is a suspension.They will all in some form or other will be used in agriculture application.They are already in use, now this is inevitable what is important for us to understand ishow we or how fast we appreciate that we are moving ahead yet we deal with a degree ofcaution that there are limits, there are thresholds which biological system can withstand, otherwise,it will become, it will those a newer set of go challenges for us.What will be those notes sooner we realize, faster we realize will be we make a difference,now you might wonder that what is and why we are going in the nanomaterial domain.The reason to go to the nanomaterial domain is I told you, in the beginning, somethingand I will again pull that example what I told you.So, this is what you see, you have these crops growing and once the season is over the stemsare left which are being burnt.So what is left behind is small carbon, so this is the burning of crop residue.So this is the full-grown crop, theseare after harvest, now burning this burning the residue.And then what you are left behind is a mass of carbon, now in this process essentiallyin the biomass was there it was carbon in a polymeric chain in the form of polysaccharides,pectin, all series of carbohydrates.Now what you see here, so these were all we are having complex carbohydrates, proteins,lipids, all containing carbon, carbon in a polymer or of course there are other atomswith it including nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen and all, but since we are talking about carbon,so it is a just stress upon carbon here.So once you burn what you are having is just carbon.So what is happen in terms of size here carbon was at a much more bigger moiety in the formof a polymer, here size has gone down.Now this small size is now could be made availableto the new crop, so in other words, the whole fundamental around which our life is revolving,it is essentially is 1 word which can define it very clearly is called self-assembly ofatoms and molecules.So, of course, the self-assembly is driven by a series of enzymatic forces, several templates.Now when you talk about this small size these are the ones which self-assemble to form thosecomplex structures.So when you talk about nanoparticle essentially what we are talking out here we gave the schemeof it we are bringing down the size to make it more available.So this is what essentially is the reason why we are heading for more nanotechnologyapplication to give you another angle to this, so say for example I have to apply fertilizerhere.So I am using these big chunks of salt say in the form of NPK nitrogen, phosphorus, andpotash.Now think of it in the light that I just now told you if this size goes down to this, thissmaller size has much more available to the plant.So, in other words, the final we go chances are it will be made more available to theplants instead of having something which is much more bigger.So now from here the journey from here to here is changing many things, you are changingthe surface areas to the volume ratio.In other words, now we are talking about something which has a much more exposed surface area,say for example let us think of this situation.I have a box like this in front of you and this box has these atoms like this, so thepink ones are the atoms, I am not doing it 3 dimensions I just showing in 2 dimensions.So, your expose surface area is all over this, but now think of it this whole part what Iam drawing now is completely unexposed right.There is no exposes, this is not at all exposed, the only exposed area is the 1 which is shownin out here lightly, this is the only exposed area.So there is a huge area which remains unexposed, now if I reduce it down to the units of trees,say for example I say I have something like this and something like this, so how manywe have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5x4 25.So 15 I am just increasing 1 atom, now think of the surface area we were talking about.Now, this is the surface we were talking about even without doing any arithmetic, you cansee the amount of surface area increase what is happening.Now if you add this and you add all of this you will see the difference, but now whenyou talk about these small particles their properties, their reactivity, their interactiondrastically alters.There is a drastic alteration in their activity, now how to handle this, these nature equippedto handle it possibly yes but then nature has a limit our understanding will be.So this is what we called as bulk and this is what we called as nano, this journey.And then, of course, we talked about their characterization, their reactivity, characterizationand several other aspects to it and their bioavailability likewise.So another question arises what will be those industrial techniques, so how we can makethem.This is another aspect of nanotechnology, industrial production.Because has to go through a whole series of quality control.And then what will be the application guidelines and what will be the monitoringmechanisms.So, now you realize that when we are assuring into a new era of applying nanoparticles intothe agriculture domain.Then we have to take all these things into account that how we are going to balance outall these things.