Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Green Chemistry for Sustainable Agriculture Through Potential Utilization of Biopesticides

Y S Choudhary


As a society, we are getting clear signals that some chemicals consistently used in conventional agriculture are associated with disturbing health and environmental effects. From human to ecological health impacts, there are growing concerns about how we farm. In contrast, ‘Sustainable Agriculture’ describes a robust and balanced agricultural system to which many increasingly aspire. There are many unknowns in the details of how such an agricultural system would work, what inputs would supply it, and what technologies to employ in the transition. We do know, however, that Green Chemistry innovations will be key to transitioning to a more sustainable agricultural system. Even with this most basic awareness, there is a lack of clarity about where we stand on the path towards change – are we close to replacing some of the most egregious agricultural chemicals or is the technology gap still wide? What are Green Chemistry’s strengths and what are its weaknesses in approaching these issues? Are there technologies available that could benefit from clear demonstration of market demand? How can we be sure that these new chemicals are safe? Green chemistry and sustainable agriculture are inherently intertwined; farmers need green chemists to make safe agricultural chemical inputs. Green chemists need farmers practicing sustainable agriculture to provide truly “green” bio-based raw materials to process into new products. Green Chemistry connects with sustainable agriculture as a consumer of agricultural products, as a source for remediation technologies, and as a producer of inputs. More than 80% of biopesticides are used by producers employing conventional farming practices.

Full Text:



P.T. Anastas, J.C. Warner. Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press; 1998.

A. Chattopadhyay, N. Bhatnagar, R. Bhatnagar. Bacterial insecticidal toxins, Crit Rev Microbiol. 2004; 30: 33p.

P. Jarvis. Biopesticides: Trends and Opportunities (Agrow Reports DS224). 48 London; PJB Publications Ltd.; 2001, 98p. Executive Summary. URL: (accessed 20 Oct 2008).

W.M. Nelson. Agricultural Applications in Green Chemistry. American Chemical Society: Washington D.C.; 2004.

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education. URL:

Y. Thakore. The biopesticide market for global agricultural use, Ind Biotechnol. 2006; 2:3: 192–208p.

Y. Thakore. The new biopesticide market, BCC Research. Report ID: CHM029B, January 2006.

US EPA Pesticides] US Environmental Protection Agency, Regulating Pesticides. 2008. What are Biopesticides? URL: (accessed 28 Sept 2008).

Washington, DC: US Environmental Protection Agency. Ware G, Whitacre D. 2004. An Introduction to Insecticides. In: Radcliffe E, Hutchison W, Cancelado R, Radcliffe’s IPM World Textbook. URL: St. Paul (MN): University of Minnesota.

Washington State University, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. 2005. BioAg Fact Sheet. URL: (Accessed 11 June 2008). Puyallup (WA): Biologically Intensive Agriculture and Organic Farming Program.


  • There are currently no refbacks.