Each year, 20%–40% of crops are lost due to plant pests and pathogens. Existing plant disease management relies predominantly on toxic pesticides that are potentially harmful to humans and the environment. Nanotechnology can offer advantages to pesticides, like reducing toxicity, improving the shelf-life, and increasing the solubility of poorly water-soluble pesticides, all of which could have positive environmental impacts. This review explores the two directions in which nanoparticles can be utilized for plant disease management: either as nanoparticles alone, acting as protectants; or as nanocarriers for insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and RNA-interference molecules. Despite the several potential advantages associated with the use of nanoparticles, not many nanoparticle-based products have been commercialized for agricultural application. The scarcity of commercial applications could be explained by several factors, such as an insufficient number of field trials and underutilization of pest–crop host systems. In other industries, nanotechnology has progressed rapidly, and the only way to keep up with this advancement for agricultural applications is by understanding the fundamental questions of the research and addressing the scientific gaps to provide a rational and facilitate the development of commercial nanoproducts.
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