The tomato is a herbaceous, sprawling plant with a weak woody stem that grows 1-3 m in height. The tomato is a Peruvian and Mexican native. There are no definitive records of when and how it arrived in India, perhaps the Portuguese introduced it. There are about 1000 varieties of tomato in India. China leads the tomato production in the world followed by India and Turkey. The tomato season in India prevails throughout the year. The peak tomato season in India is mostly at the beginning and end of the year.
The tomato fruit weighs about 70 to 150g on average with a size of 50-70mm in diameter. Because of their high nutritional value, tomatoes are one of the most significant crops. It is one of the most adaptable fruits, with a long history of use in Indian cuisine. Tomatoes are used in a variety of dishes including salad, ketchup, puree, sauces and other processed foods. Tomatoes have a higher content of antioxidants called lycopene which prevents cancer. It also contains another antioxidant called carotene which is known for its cancer prevention properties and gives a distinct red colour to the fruit.
Tomato varieties in India
There are more than 15000 varieties of tomato in the world. There are more than 1000 varieties of tomatoes cultivated in India. However, only a few are commercially available and others are consumed locally. Several seed companies have bred the tomatoes further and have brought out new varieties with specific attributes.
Arka Abhijith: Arka Abhijith is a high yielding F1 hybrid tomato variety developed by IIHR Bangalore. It is developed for the fresh market. The fruit weighs about 65-70g. The average yielding is 65 tons per hectare in 140 days.
Abhinav: It is a semi-determinate plant with broad leaves and excellent foliage cover. It is suitable for long-distance transport. The colour is glossy and deep red and yields 60-65 days after planting. This tomato variety is cultivated in Kharif and rabi season. The fruits are firm with good keeping quality and suitable for processing.
Namdhari: Namdhari is a determinate early maturing hybrid variety of tomato in India. The fruits weigh about 80-90g with an attractive and glossy red colour. The sowing month is from August to October and is cultivated across almost all the states in India.
Rashmi: The tomatoes are round, firm, smooth and brightly coloured. Rashmi is a determinate and widely adapted hybrid variety. The fruit weighs about 90 gm and the first harvest is about 70 days from planting. This tomato variety is suitable for processing.
Vaishali: Vaishali is a determinate hybrid variety of tomato that produces medium-sized (100g) of high-quality fruits. The cultivar is adapted to thrive in hot and humid conditions. This variety is resistant to Fusarium and Verticillium. It is suited for processing purposes, especially in the juice industry.
Rupali: Rupali is a determinate, compact growing, and early tomato hybrid with good foliage cover that produces medium-sized (100g), firm, round, smooth, and high-quality fruits. This variety is appropriate for processing purposes.
Arka Shrestha: Arka Shreshta is a high yielding hybrid variety of tomatoes developed by IIHR Bangalore. It is semi-determinate with light green foliage and the fruit weighs about 70-75 g. The fruits are firm, have a long shelf life (17days), and are easy to transport. It is suited for both table and processing purposes. The crop is cultivated during the Kharif/ rabi season and matures after the rabi season. The average yield is 76t/ha.
Arka Vardan: This is a hybrid variety of tomato in India developed by IIHR, Bangalore. This is an indeterminate plant with fruits that weigh about 140 g with a green shoulder. It is ideal for table purposes. The crop is cultivated during the Kharif/Rabi season and matures after 160 days. The average yield is 75t/ha.
Arka Vishal: Arka Vishal is a hybrid variety of tomato released by IIHR. The plants are indeterminate. The fruit is huge and weighs about 140g. This tomato variety is suitable only for table purposes. The variety is cultivated in Kharif/Rabi season and matures in 160 days. The average yield is 75t/ha.
Arka Vikas: This is a hybrid variety of tomatoes in India developed by IIHR Bangalore. It is oblate, medium-large (8-90g) with a light green edge, and turns a deep crimson colour when they ripen. It is developed for a new market and adapted to both rainfed and irrigated environments. This variety of tomatoes is best suited for table purposes.
Pusa Early Dwarf: It is a hybrid variety of tomato in India developed by IARI New Delhi. It is a determinate type cultivar that ripens early. The tomatoes are flattish round, medium-large, and have a yellow stem end. The tomatoes are ready for harvesting 75-80 days after transplantation. The average yield per hectare is 35 tons. This variety of tomato is suited for both table and processing variety.
Pusa Ruby: This is a cultivar that matures quickly. The plant has a height of 80-85cms and it is indeterminate. The fruits are flat to spherical, medium-sized, with a slightly acidic pulp. It is suitable for both processing and table variety. The average yield is 32.5 t/ha. This variety is suitable for sowing in both autumn-winter and spring-summer seasons.
Pusa Gaurav: Plants are dwarf, bushy, and have a moderate amount of foliage coverage. Smooth, elliptical fruits are borne in bushes. The unripe fruits are firm, with thick flesh (0.6m)and two well-filled locules, making long-distance transit easier. The fruit is suitable for both canning and processing purposes because of its higher brix content and Keeping quality.
Tomato production in India
Tomato is the third most important crop in India after potato and onion. India is the second-largest producer of tomatoes in the world. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh are the major tomato producing states in India. These states account for about 90% of total tomato production in the country. Tomato production in India in 2018-19 is estimated to be 193.97 Lakh Tons, which is 8% higher than the production compared last year.
Andhra Pradesh contributes to 20% of total tomato production in India. Madhya Pradesh is the second-largest producer of tomatoes and contributes to 12% of total production. Karnataka is the third-largest producer and contributes to 10% of total tomato production in India followed by Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu.
Tomato production in India state wise
|State||Production (in 000 tons)||Share(%)|
Major tomato growing states in India
|States||Major tomato growing areas|
|Tamil Nadu||Thiruvannamalai, Salem, Dharmapuri, Coimbatore, Erode, Trichy, Madurai, Dindigul|
|Andhra Pradesh||Rangareddy, Mehabubnagar, Prakasam, Vishakapattanam, Chittor|
|Karnataka||Kolar, Bangalore, Bellary, Dharwad, Belgaum|
|Orissa||Bolangir, Kendrapara, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar|
|Madhya Pradesh||Satna, Sagar, Jabalpur|
|Gujarat||Surat, Valsad, Baroda, Ahmednagar, Gandhinagar, Kedah, Jamnagar|
|Uttar Pradesh||Varanasi, Mirzapur|
|Himachal Pradesh||Shimla, Kullu, Solan|
|Punjab||Amritsar, Ropar, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur|
|Haryana||Rohtak, Sonepat, Jhajjar, Faridabad, Karnal|
|Rajasthan||Jaipur, Dholpur, Alwar, Tonk, Bharatpur|
|Bihar||Vaishali, Sitamarhi, Bhagalpur, Patna, Aurangabad, Nalanda, Bhojpur, W&E Champaran|
|Jharkhand||Ranchi, Lohardaga, Hazaribagh, Godda|
|Maharashtra||Nashik, Ahmednagar, Pune, Nagpur|
|Chhattisgarh||Raipur, Durg, Bastar, Bilaspur, Raigarh, Surguja|
Tomato production in the world
China is the largest producer of tomatoes in the world. It contributes about 34.75% of the world’s total tomato production. India contributes to 10% of the world’s total tomato production with a production of 19.01M tons. The growth quantity increases by 1.45% every year. Turkey and The United States are the third and fourth-largest producers of tomatoes. Turkey has seen rapid growth of 8% in the last five years. However, when it comes to export, Mexico contributes to 26% whereas, in countries like India and China, the tomatoes are consumed locally or exported in the form of Tomato paste or other processed foods.
Tomato season in India
Tomatoes require a warm environment to thrive. In India, they are often planted in March and April and harvested in late summer. The tomato season in India almost exists throughout the year due to the increasing demand for tomatoes in the market. By 70 days after transplantation, the plants begin to yield. Harvesting is done for a variety of purposes that include fresh market and processing industries. The tomatoes turn crimson red when they ripe, but those with firm flesh are used for fresh markets. Fully ripe fruits with soft flesh are used for seed extraction and processing.
Depending on the type and season, the yield per hectare varies substantially. The yield varies between 20-25 t/ha on average. Hybrid varieties of tomatoes can produce 40-50 tons per hectare. The peak season of tomatoes in India is from Jan-Feb and Nov-Dec. In some states like Maharashtra and Gujarat, the tomato growing season in India prevails throughout the year. Even in the northern states, the peak season of tomato prevails in the month of Jan-Feb and the remaining months are in the lean period.
In tropical and subtropical climates with an annual rainfall of 60-150 cm, the crop is produced from approximately MSL to an altitude of 1500 m. Its development is harmed by excessive rains. It is planted as an irrigation crop when grown in hot weather. From August to September the winter crop is sown. The tomato winter harvest is good for organic farming.
Tomato harvesting and growing season in India
In southern and western states, transplanting and harvesting are done in four phases. The initial transplanting season begins in June-July and the harvesting is done from August to September. The second transplanting is done from October – to November and the harvesting is done from December to February. The third transplanting season is from Jan- to Feb and harvested from March- to June. The fourth transplantation season is from October- to November and is harvested from Jan – to March. For Northern, Eastern, and hilly regions the transplantation and harvesting period varies accordingly.