Agrochemicals are pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers used for the management of ecosystems in agricultural sectors. Rudimentary variations on agrochemicals have been used for millennia to improve crop yields and control the populations of agricultural pests.
The earliest known use of agrochemicals dates to roughly 2500 B.C. when Sumerian farmers relied on Sulphur (S) compounds to reduce insect populations and the subsequent risk of pest-related famine. An evolution in synthetic chemical manufacture has vastly improved pesticide processes to accommodate for the enormously growing global population and the consequent increases in food demands. However, it is estimated that up to 40% of the world’s crops are spoiled by plant pests and diseases – even with the effective implementation of pesticides.
Types of Agrochemicals
There is a concerted effort to actively and conscientiously implement a broad range of agrochemicals to safely maintain and control the global food supply to ensure consistently high quality for widespread consumption. Types of agrochemicals include:
- Pesticides, or chemicals engineered to destroy insects and other organisms, weeds, and funguses that could spoil crop yields;
- Synthetic fertilizers, for example ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3), which is designed to encourage crop growth by saturating soils with nutrients;
- Acidifiers and liming agents, engineered to alter the pH levels of soils to suit the planting properties of given crops;
- Soil conditioners, for example gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O), which is designed to condition soils with high sodium (Na) contents to improve planting conditions;
- Growth hormones or synthetic chemicals designed to increase growth rates in animals and crops.
New and emerging agrochemical methods include the engineering of crops that are synthetically-resistant to herbicides, or that produce their own insecticides.
In the academy we will be training students on how to produce different type of agrochemicals both the chemical and organic solutions.We will updates members of the public once all modules have been prepared.