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1. Research Project on Innovative Physics Using ZnO-Nanomaterials for Enhancing Value-Added Agricultural Products

 

         One major hindrance of farmers is the plant disease which decreases the volume of agricultural products while using the chemical fertilizer and plant diseases and pest protection substances adds up the production cost. According to the survey, farmers spent approximately 3,500-4,000 Baht / rai (1 rai = 1,600 square meter) for one cycle of rice farming. With regard to these expenses, chemical substances and fertilizer cost around 880-1,200 Baht / rai [1], regarded as nearly a half of the total costs. As it is extremely necessary to help relieve this burden of farmers, College of Nanotechnology, King’s Mongkut Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL), supported by Thailand Center of Excellence in Physics (ThEP Center), therefore introduces the ZnO-nanomaterials, which are locally produced in Thailand at low prices and with interesting properties, such as biocompatibility with human cells, excellent photocatalytic activity, and stable compound free of toxic residue [2], to farmers in various areas to apply them for a number of plants with satisfactory outcomes as detailed below.

Rice: Spraying ZnO-nanomaterials mixed with water every two weeks can lengthen the rice stalks and promote the booting stage compared to other rice plants with no use of ZnO-nanomaterials.

Lime: Spraying ZnO-nanomaterials can make the lime tree more resistant to canker and stop canker of the affected lime tree while increasing the productivity [3].

Cassava: Soaking the cassava before planting and spraying it after planting with ZnO-nanomaterials can add up the weight by 40-60% or double the productivity.

Pepper: Diseases found in a pepper are yellow rot wilt disease, root rot disease, white root disease, and anthracnose, which halt the growth of plants or dry out the plants while decreasing agricultural productivity. Using ZnO-nanomaterials in the seedling stage can help alleviate these problems.

Chayote: The plant disease commonly found is downy mildew. Spraying ZnO-nanomaterials every 10-15 days can ease the problem of downy mildew.

Zalacca: It is generally affected by root rot disease and fungal disease. Spraying ZnO-nanomaterials over Zalacca can minimize the concurrence of both diseases. Meanwhile, it increases the Zalacca fruit and enhances its reddish color.

 

 



Figure 1.1 The fruition of Zalacca treated with ZnO-nanomaterials.

 



Figure 1.2 College of Nanotechnology of KMITL, in collaboration with Department of Physics, Rambhai Barni Rajabhat University, Chanthaburi Province,
opens the project of “Nanophysics Village for Zalacca Plantation”, Song Phee Nong Sub-district, Tha Mai District, Chanthaburi Province, on 21st September 2016. It is viewed as the model for expanding the body of knowledge to farmers to boost the internal strength and local economy of Thailand.

 

 

References

[1]“ต้นทุนการปลูกข้าว ;ผู้จัดการนายุคดิจิตอล กำไรที่แท้จริงของชาวนา”, (From http: thaipublica.org/2014/02/cost-of-farmer/ )
[2] Jingzhe Xue et al., “A Residue-free Green Synergistic Antifungal Nanotechnology for Pesticide Thiram by ZnO Nanoparticles”, Nature : Scientific Reports, 14 July 2014, DOI: 10.1038/srep05408.
[3]เพ็ญพิชญา เตียว, “นาโนซิงค์ออกไซด์หยุดโรคแคงเกอร์สวนมะนาว”, ไทยรัฐออนไลน์, 17 พค. 2556, (From www.thairath.co.th/content/345155. )

 

Principal Investigator: Professor Dr. Jiti Nukaew

 

collaborator: Asst. Prof. Dr. Pitiporn Thanomngam, Asst. Prof. Dr. Benchapol Tunhoo, Asst. Prof. Dr. Thutiyaporn Thiwawong, Asst. Prof. Dr. Sutee Chutipaijit, Dr. Supanit Porntheeraphat, Dr. Navaphun Kayunkid, Dr. Adirek Rangkasikorn

 

Affiliated Institute: College of Nanotechnology, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology - Ladkrabang

 

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