Five Indian scientists have been able to demonstrate an increase of whopping 40 per cent to 100 per cent in agricultural production using nano-technology and iron-pyrite – one of the cheapest and abundant minerals available on earth.
The 13th New AG International Conference – world’s largest event for agricultural technology – was held this week in New Delhi this year and attended by hundreds of delegates from more than 60 countries. However India stole the show with this breakthrough innovation that enhances productivity without fertilizer or genetic engineering.
The team of Mainak Das, Deepu Philip, Sushil Kr Singh, Kalpana Bhargava and Niroj K Sethy found a new way to treat seeds with nano-particles of iron-pyrites before sowing that enhances plant growth significantly.
“I always wanted to do something to eradicate hunger. That is what motivated me to pursue this research”, says Mainak Das who is a faculty in Biological Sciences at IIT Kanpur. He and his colleague Deepu Philip from Industrial Engineering, IITK left their lucrative careers in USA to come back to India and give back. Kalpana and Sushil also have the same story. They also quit plush foreign jobs to join Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO). The five pooled their own savings and assets for this research.
While speaking to India Today, Sushil said, “We have been able to show wonderful results with spinach, carrot, fenugreek, sesame and beetroot so far. And this happens without disturbing the soil ecosystem unlike fertilizers as we are treating seeds and not soil. This is first time such results have been achieved to best of our knowledge.”
“We have observed significant increase in plant dimensions as well as healthy mineral content. This is called bio-stimulation. It is like making Captain America from frail Steve Rogers. In fact this is Captain India!”, Niroj shared with excitement.
Kalpana added, “The dosage requirement is minimal because of nano dimensions. There are no adverse impacts on either plant or soil. There is no tinkering with genome.”
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