Nanotechnology and artificial intelligence to enable sustainable and precision agriculture

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review



Climate change, increasing populations, competing demands on land for production of biofuels and declining soil quality are challenging global food security. Finding sustainable solutions requires bold new approaches and integration of knowledge from diverse fields, such as materials science and informatics. The convergence of precision agriculture, in which farmers respond in real time to changes in crop growth with nanotechnology and artificial intelligence, offers exciting opportunities for sustainable food production. Coupling existing models for nutrient cycling and crop productivity with nanoinformatics approaches to optimize targeting, uptake, delivery, nutrient capture and long-term impacts on soil microbial communities will enable design of nanoscale agrochemicals that combine optimal safety and functionality profiles.

Bibliographic note

Funding Information: Z.G., I.L. and A.A. acknowledge funding from the EU H2020 project NanoSolveIT (Grant Agreement 814572). I.L. and A.A. acknowledge funding from the EU H2020 projects RiskGone (Grant Agreement 814425) and NanoCommons (Grant Agreement 731032). I.L., P.Z. and Z.G. acknowledge support from the University of Birmingham Institute for Global Innovation Environmental Pollution Solutions theme. S.U. acknowledges funding from the BBSRC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Innovation Club project (BB/R021716/1) and NERC-NSF grant-DiRTS (NE/T012323/1). Publisher Copyright: © 2021, Springer Nature Limited.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)864–876
Number of pages13
JournalNature Plants
Early online date24 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

Sustainable Development Goals