The widespread use of fertilizers is a result of the increased global demand for food. The commonly used chemical fertilizers may increase plant growth and output, but they have deleterious effects on the soil, the environment, and even human health. Therefore, nanofertilizers are one of the most promising solutions or substitutes for conventional fertilizers. These engineered materials are composed of nanoparticles containing macro- and micronutrients that are delivered to the plant rhizosphere in a regulated manner. In nanofertilizers, the essential minerals and nutrients (such as N, P, K, Fe, and Mn) are bonded alone or in combination with nano-dimensional adsorbents. This review discusses the development of nanotechnology-based smart and efficient agriculture using nanofertilizers that have higher nutritional management, owing to their ability to increase the nutrient uptake efficiency. Additionally, the synthesis and mechanism of action of the nanofertilizers are discussed, along with the different types of fertilizers that are currently available. Furthermore, sustainable agriculture can be realised by the targeted delivery and controlled release of nutrients through the application of nanoscale active substances. This paper emphasises the successful development and safe application of nanotechnology in agriculture; however, certain basic concerns and existing gaps in research need to be addressed and resolved.
Keywords: agriculture; crop production; nano-toxicity; nanofertilizer; plant growth; sustainability; yield.