Tomato Cultivation and Farming in india

Tomato is one of the few staple vegetables / fruits which is incorporated in indian cuisine. May it be punjabi or south indian, gujarati or bengali, tomatoes do play a part in it. Its one of the few fruits which plays a major role in indian cuisine, without which no meal is complete. Every indian household will purchase tomatoes at least once a week. The demand for the fruit is very high and stands second to only onions. Farmers in India have known that the fruit is in constant demand and cultivate tomatoes year round. While tomatoes are one of the few fruits which has a high fluctuation in price, it has not deterred farmers from cultivating it.

Almost all part of India is known to cultivate Tomatoes. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa and Bihar are known to cultivate the most amount of tomatoes in india. Other states are not far behind. Tamil nadu, Gujarat and maharashtra are close behind and have very good productivity and enough supply to meet the local demands in most areas and oftentimes in surpless.

Tomatoes are one fruit which sell for up to 30 rs per kg and when in surpless, drops down to 2 rs Per KG. There have been times when tomatoes sold for 45-50 rs per kg, but these are rare. The usual retail price for tomatoes is between 10 and 20 rs per kg. For farmers the price would be between 5 and 10 rs.  Fortunately, Tomatoes have a very high yield. A hectare of tomato crop could yield anywhere between 40-100 tonnes. That’s a lot more than most other cereal crops and vegetables. For instance the yield of rice, its 2-3 tonnes per hectare, okra is 10 tonnes and brinjal is roughly 30 tonnes. 

Tomato farming techniques

Most of the farmers in india practice the traditional methods of farming. This goes for tomatoes too. The farms are plough, raised rows are created and saplings are replanted. Drip irrigation is practiced lately but by very few. Most farmers rely on traditional forms of  irrigation. Fertilizers are usually hand dispersed manually. Pesticides are used by recommendation of local pesticide shops. These shops act as doctors for the plants without proper certification or ability to analyze. Most of the time recommendations are made without seeing the plant, understanding the cause or symptoms of the disease in plants. Soil tests are rarely done, Fertilizers are used based on schedule and not based on requirements.

The practice of farming is the same all over india. Most farmers dont realize that there are new technologies in the market which can increase the yield by 300-400 % with some small changes. While the organic farming method is gaining more interest and importance, Many farmers are still struggling with the practice and tend to give up far earlier than they should due to lack of knowledge. 

Universities are taking up initiative to increase the yield but arent focused on educating the farmers on what they should grow in their land and what is the best crop feasible for the conditions of soil, water and weather. 

There are problems, but farmers find their way to profit from every crop they cultivate in india.

Tomato farming is done in 2 seasons in india and the plants vary from normal short ones to the longer ones which requires staking and support. The requirements for both these plants will differ and the practices too will vary. For the ones which require staking, the yield is considerably higher (though this is not a general consensus). Staking is usually done using bamboo poles with a scissor shaped arrangement on both ends, supported and restrained by metal wires. Threads or twines are used to support the tomato plants in between. A clear video illustration the method is given on

Tomato farming in polyhouse

While this form of tomato cultivation is not widely practiced, Its an excellent Semi controlled form of cultivating Tomato. Polyhouse has several advantages among which temperature control and pest management are key. Coupled with hydroponic techniques, A polyhouse with tomato has the potential to yield a lot more than traditional farming. This also reduces the pain of pest management, weather problems and diseases like blight which are caused due to climatic conditions and humidity.

Hydroponic Tomato Farming

Hydroponics is one of the most efficient type of farming for almost all produce. Tomato is not an exception either. With an increase of over 300-500% in yield, a plant has a potential of producing up to 25 Kilos of tomatoes as opposed to 3-4 Kilos in traditional farming method. Hydroponics, though very expensive to set up, can yield higher produce with lesser pest and water resources. Proper setup of a hydroponic farm for tomatoes are rare in india due to the low price of the produce sometimes dropping to as low as 2 rs per Kilo. But if you look carefully, Hydroponics in Tomato is extremely profitable. An hectare of tomato farming with hydroponics could give you yield up to 100 Tonnes. Market price for 100 Tonnes is 2,00, 000 even with the lowest price. And if the average price is considered, expect it to go up to 10,00,000 per hectare. With a one time investment of 4-5 Lakh, you would surely be able to cover your cost and make a profit the first year itself if you can sell all the produce at an average price. This of course comes with a steep learning curve and knowing which seeds to cultivate among many other factors. 

Tomato farming profit

Profit from Tomato farming is difficult to analyze considering the fluctuation market price. Apart from the market price, the right selection, Land, water, humidity and season play a major role in production of good quality tomatoes. If we were to put in some form of base figures to these and assume that the land , water and seasons are perfectly suitable, analysis becomes a bit more easier and possible. For this example lets assume that the season was right, the average price for tomatoes were 10 Rs per KG and the yield of the tomatoes are roughly 40 tonnes. That may seem a lot , but its the average yield with most farmers. 

Land Preparation20000
Staking and Support10000
Plant Protection5000
Machinery charges1000
Total Cost83000
Total Yield40 Tonnes
Cost per KG10
Gross Revenue400000 (4 Lakh)
Net income3,17,000

Tomato prices could drop to as low as 2 Rs. / KG. Remember its a 180 day crop and having a few days of low price should not deter you from cultivating it. Prices will rise after a short while. There is always a rise and drop in price of almost all vegetables. Continue taking care of your tomato plants even during these low times. Fertilize, control pest and manage your plants through out its course.  Profits are inevitable. If you continue with the same crop for the second season, chances of success are much higher.

Tomato farming in india

The tomato production in india has been growing at a steady rate every year. While the number of hectares have also increased in tomato production, the use of new technology has been very low. While farmers in other parts of the world are increasing the yield per hectare to approximately 50, 60 and even 100 tonnes per acre, indian farmers are still grappling with 24-25 tonnes per acre and struggling to even produce that much. While not all farmers are doing poorly, most of them are, putting the average below most other countries. For instance, Algeria took their yield from 23 tonnes per hectare to a 60 tonnes per hectare. Argentina is at 77 tonnes per hectare and australia is producing near 100 tonnes per hectare in tomatoes per year.

Whats even worse is that india processes less than 1% of the total produce of tomatoes while most other countries have means to process the excess tomatoes never letting it go to waste and also maintaining a price. 

Southern and central india are key tomato producers with majority of the produces coming from the states of karnataka, andhra, maharashtra, gujarat, Tamil Nadu, bihar, madhya pradesh. All surrounding states are provided for by these states even when they are able to meet their demands. India produces tomatoes throughout the year but in 2 seasons, June to September and from October to February.

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Tomato farming in gujarat

Tomato is a very important crop for farmers in Gujarat. Gujarat stands 6th in production of tomatoes in india. The major areas with tomato production includes  Anand, Kheda, Gandhinagar, Dang,Dahod, Narmada, Panchamahal, Banaskantha, Vadodara, Valsad, Sabarkantha and Bhavnagar. The Junagadh agricultural university has been doing research for high yielding varieties for gujarat conditions. The new varieties have an increase in yield by 26-31 % in areas of gujarat. The varieties used in Gujarat are Avinash, Abhinav, Himshikar, Pusa Ruby, Junagadh Ruby, Gujarat Tameti-1, GT-3, Gujarat Anand Cherry Tomato 1, Gujarat Anand Tomato 5, Anand Tomato -3, Gujarat Tomato 2, Junagadh Tomato 3 (JT 3) . These are the major varieties which are promoted by the agricultural universities in gujarat. 

Tomato Varieties, Yield and More

Name of Hybrid VarietyInstitute/CompanyYield Start
AmoghNamdhari Seeds Pvt.Ltd.Bangalore75 Days
Ankur-128Ankur seeds ltd.100 Days
Arka AbhijeetIndian Institute of Horticulture Research, Bangalore55 Days
Arth-3Ankur Seeds Pvt. Ltd.,80 Days
Arth-4Ankur Seed Pvt. Ltd., Nagpur80 Days
ArtiCentury Seeds Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi120 Days
BhagyshreeM.P.K.V., Rahuri65 Days
DhanashreeM.P.K.V.,Rahuri65 Days
KarnatakaIndo-American hybrid seeds company80 Days
LirikaSandoze India Ltd., Pune60 Days
ManmohanCentury Seeds Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi50 Days
N.S.-816Namdhari Seeds Pvt.Ltd.Bangalore85 Days
Nath Amrut-601Nath Seeds Ltd., Aurangabad120 Days
RajashreeM.P.K.V., Rahuri65 Days
RamyaIndo-American Hybrid Seeds Bangalore65 Days
RatnaSandoze India Ltd., Pune60 Days
SurakshaNamdhari Seeds Pvt.Ltd. Bangalore75 Days
UstavaNamdhari Seeds Pvt.Ltd.Bangalore80 Days
Name of Hybrid VarietyYieldFruit SizeOther Features
Abhiman95-100 gm
Amogh75-80 Gram
Ankur-12860-80 gm
Apurva110-120 gmresistant to blight, suitable for distant markets.
Arka Abhijeet40 tonnes60 gmLong Shelf life fruits. Resistant to Bacteria wilt
Arka Shreshta70 tonnes per hectare75gmREsistant to Bacterial wilt, Good for transportation
ArkaVardan140 gmRoot Knot Nematode resistant, good for hilly areas
Arth-390-95 tonnes
Arth-4100 – 110 tonnes
ArtiGood for Transportation
Avinash-2120 tonnes per hectare80-100 gm
Bhagyshree80 gm
Century-1270-80 gmGood for Transportation
Dhanashree60 gm
Divya90-100 Tonnes80-90 gmPlant height is 1 meter
H.T.M 10880-100 gm
H.T.M.185100-120 gm
Hrishi40 tonnes70gmresistant to verticillium and fusarium.
Hybrid Chuhara75 gmHigh Yield
Hybrid No. 14High Yield
Hybrid No. 15High Yield Cherry Variety. Good for Kitchen gardening
Karnatakaresistant to fusarium, verticillium and nematode.
Kuber Gita60-80 gm
Lirika80-100 gmGood for transportation
Madhuri50-70 tonnes100 gm
Manisha80-100 tonnes per hectareGood shelf life. Good for transportation
Manmohan80-90 gmGood for Transportation
Minakshi60-100 tonnes per hectare80 gm
N.S.-53590 Gm
N.S.-81280-85 Gm
N.S.-816100-110 GmNo staking, Straight Growing Plants
Nath Amrut-101110-120 tonnes per hectare80-100 gm
Nath Amrut-110110-120 tonnes per hectare80-100 gm
Nath Amrut-210110-120 tonnes per hectare60 gm
Nath Amrut-60180-85 gm
Nath Amrut-901110-120 tonnes per hectare100 gm
Pradnya100-110 tonnes90-100 gmGood for transportation, Ripens evenly, Root Knot Nematode resistant
Pusa Hybrid 130 tonnes / Hectare60 GmTolerates high temperature
Pusa Hybrid 255tones / Hectare80 Gm
Pusa Hybrid 470-80 gmGood for transportation, Ripens evenly, Root Knot Nematode resistant
Rajashree85 gm
Ramya90 Gm
Rasika100 tonnes per hectare60-125 gm
Ratna60-125 gm
Suman50-60 gmRequires staking
Supriya70 gmHigh Yield
Suraksha100 gm
Swarna40-50 gmHigh Yield
T.H.-39090-100 tonnes per hectare80-100gm
Ustava90 gmResistant to fruit cracking
Vishal Arka75 Tonnes / Hectare140 gmResistant to cracking