Tomato Cultivation and Farming in india

It is rare to find good cuisine without tomatoes. In India, almost all Punjabi dishes have tomatoes as a base for their gravy. Every restaurant needs it. Every household needs it. It is probably the third most common vegetable (technically a fruit) in an Indian household after potatoes and Onion. Even though Tomatoes are one of the most important and used vegetables in constant demand, it is also one of the riskiest crops for Indian farmers. There are several reasons for the love-hate relationship with tomatoes. If you have ever purchased tomatoes from your local vendor and kept a track of the prices, you would sometimes feel confused. 

Let me explain. In January 2022, Tomato prices shot up to 150 rs per kilo. That’s very high for most people in India. It stood at that price for nearly a fortnight and all of a sudden the price dropped to 30 rs per kilo in February. Today, august 2022, the price is at a stable 30 rs after a 3-month drop in price at 20 rs per kilo. There are times when I have purchased tomatoes for 2 and 3 rs per kilo and that’s from a retail market. We wonder what the trader and the shop owner got. Most of all, what did the farmer get?

Tomato cultivation is good. It’s excellent. Why else do you think farmers continue growing tomatoes year after year in such unpredictable conditions? There are no processing factories near most farms. The only byproduct of Tomatoes is tomato sauce and there are less than 5 companies that do that on a large scale. There is very less possibility of selling your product to companies like Nestle (Maggi sauce… and ketchup ) as they have their channels to acquire products and most farmers are not even near any of these factories. Transportation to these locations from thousands of kilometers away for most farmers only add up costs that aren’t feasible.

Tomato is A highly perishable product that can be cultivated almost anywhere in the state with any soil condition. It’s also a product with stable demand. Very few opportunities to sell it to processing companies to produce ketchup or sauce. High requirements when it comes to farming and production. Needs care, fertilizer, and pesticides. Overall… The tomato is a high-risk product. You could make a big buck out of it or you could lose out entirely. A gamble which some farmers take, once they get a feel for cultivating tomatoes.

Tomato farming techniques

Most of the farmers in India practice the traditional methods of farming. This goes for tomatoes too. The farms are plowed, 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 recommendations 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 or 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 don’t realize that there are new technologies in the market that 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 a lack of knowledge. 

Universities are taking up the initiative to increase the yield but aren’t focused on educating the farmers on what they should grow on 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 longer ones which require 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 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 of the method is given at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEItNUSTHn4

Tomato farming in polyhouse

While this form of tomato cultivation is not widely practiced, It’s an excellent Semi controlled form of cultivating tomatoes. Polyhouse has several advantages among which temperature control and pest management are key. Coupled with hydroponic techniques, A playhouse with tomatoes 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 types of farming for almost all products. Tomato is not an exception either. With an increase of over 300-500% in yield, a plant has the potential of producing up to 25 Kilos of tomatoes as opposed to 3-4 Kilos in the traditional farming methods. Hydroponics, though very expensive to set up, can yield higher productivity with lesser pest and water resources. Proper setup of a hydroponic farm for tomatoes is rare in India due to the low price of the product sometimes dropping to as low as 2 rs per Kilo. But if you look carefully, Hydroponics in tomatoes is extremely profitable. A hectare of tomato farming with hydroponics could give you a yield of up to 100 Tonnes. The 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 in India

Tomato production in India has been growing at a steady rate every year. While the number of hectares has 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 its yield from 23 tonnes per hectare to 60 tonnes per hectare. Argentina is at 77 tonnes per hectare and Australia is producing nearly 100 tonnes per hectare of tomatoes per year.

What’s even worse is that India processes less than 1% of the total production of tomatoes while most other countries have the 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 the majority of the produces coming from the states of Karnataka, Andhra, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh. All surrounding states are provided for by these states even when they can meet their demands. India produces tomatoes throughout the year but in 2 seasons, June to September and from October to February.

Source: http://www.tomatonews.com/en/india-the-sleeping-tiger–part-1_2_1213.html

http://www.tomatonews.com/en/agricultural-yields-60-increase-over-20-years_2_392.html

Tomato farming in Gujarat

Tomato is a very important crop for farmers in Gujarat. Gujarat stands 6th in the production of tomatoes in India. The major areas with tomato production include Anand, Kheda, Gandhinagar, Dang, Dahod, Narmada, Panchamahal, Banaskantha, Vadodara, Valsad, Sabarkantha, and Bhavnagar. The Junagadh agricultural university has been researching 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 that are promoted by 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
LikeSandoz 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
RatnaSandoz 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 Chihara75 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
Like80-100 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.-81570-80gm
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
Rupali
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

Profiting from Tomato cultivation

 Before we get into the economics of tomato cultivation, let’s look at the farming requirements, techniques, and practices of farmers who cultivate tomatoes.

  • Climatic conditions for Tomato cultivation: Tomatoes adapt well to subtropical and tropical climatic conditions. They do not tolerate high humidity and frost. In India, most parts are suitable for tomato cultivation as long as it’s rightly timed. Monsoon is not the right time in most tropical conditions. The best time to cultivate tomatoes for the best quality and yield is when the temperature is between 20 and 25 degree Celsius. If the temperature is higher than 35, it affects the fruit’s quality and overall yield. The plant also suffers stress from the high weather. You must cultivate tomatoes in the right season to get the maximum yield. This also means that you will find tomatoes flooding the market during the season. 
  • Ideal Soil for  Tomato Cultivation: Fortunately, tomatoes grow in almost all kinds of soil. From Loose sandy soil to black and red soil to even clay soil, tomatoes can be grown successfully. With clay soil, the addition of cow manure and compost is recommended as a basal application to allow better root penetration. Also, ensure that you test the soil before tomato cultivation to ensure that the right fertilizers are applied in the right quantity.
  • Varieties of Tomatoes: Tomatoes probably have the highest variety. Most of the varieties are hybrids, produced for better yield, to resist pests or both. Each variety has its benefits and they all have some level of market acceptability. In general, these fruits are classified as desi and hybrids. Though referred to as desi, most tomatoes are not of genome quality or 100% natural today. They are all hybrids and are a cross-pollinated variety of 2 or more tomato plants. When it comes to yield, some varieties have extremely high yields while others have a moderate to high yield. Some tomatoes are specifically cultivated for processing. Most tomatoes are table varieties and varieties that are used for processing are not as popular as table varieties as they are smaller. It’s also important to make a note of market acceptability. Some markets are picky about the variety they acquire and may not be confident in acquiring a variety that is not already in the market. For a list of all the varieties, please refer to the List of varieties chart from the link below.
  • Propagation: Propagation of Tomatoes starts from seeds. Ensure that you purchase the right seeds and varieties that are popular in your area. This ensures that you know the plant is perfectly suited for your weather conditions and also your area in general. Start propagation on a grow tray and place them in a nursery with moist conditions. The plants will be ready in 21 to 31 days. When at least 10 centimeters tall, move them to a more sunny area, nearly the same condition as the planting area or the farm itself. This one week is crucial as they are going to adapt to the natural conditions where they will remain till the end. They need to be acclimated to the harsh weather conditions. This phase is called hardening. Hardening of the plants is crucial and this phase requires extra care. Watering twice or thrice a day is important. Remember the plants are propagated in cocopeat and cocopeat tends to dry out fast. Keeping the medium moist is important. When the plant is ready after a week, it can be transplanted to the farm.
  • Season: Tomatoes are sun-loving plants but harsh weather conditions are not recommended. The best temperature should be between 20 and 25 degrees. This is not feasible as the variation during night and day is usually 8-10 degrees. Some states or areas have the perfect condition to grow tomatoes. The temperature remains between 20 and 25 degrees throughout the day. This is the perfect condition for these plants. For other states, the temperature may vary from 20 to 31 degrees, and it’s good and nothing to worry about. Just ensure that the season does not attract a lot of rain. Simply stated, Do not start your cultivation during the monsoon. In India, 15 July to 15 august is the best time for monsoon crops to start a nursery. Remember that it’s nursery preparation. When they are planted in the field, monsoon is nearly over, and by the time it’s harvested it’s completely gone. The second best time is from 15 December to 15 January. This is an excellent time because the winter is at its peak and by the time you move the plants to the farm, the plants are in perfect weather conditions. Some farmers, where the location is perfect, can opt for March and April for nursery preparation too.
  • Land Preparation: Land preparation is the most important part of farming any crop and it’s no different for tomato cultivation. Land preparation is even more important for tomato plantations because you need to ensure that a range of conditions is met. Tomatoes are nutrient-hungry plants. They need a lot of nutrition. Basal application is very important. They hate water logging, so trenches are just as important too. Loose soil, weed-free conditions, and facilities for trellises are all important and come at some stage or the other. But first, add as much organic matter to the soil. 3-4 tonnes of cow manure, compost, or vermicompost can be added to the soil. Experts advise anywhere between 10 and 12 tonnes of cow manure per acre. Don’t be shy on this one. Your plants will need it and you will see the difference. You can apply the cow manure over the bed once you have plowed the area and created beds. Application on the bed directly will be more efficient with more productivity too. Bed preparation is different and depends on the variety of tomato plants. Find recommendations based on the seed variety.
  • Planting, Spacing, and Density:  Once the nursery plants are ready and hardened, the plants should be moved to the farm. The farm should be ready with the required fertilizers for pasal application and irrigation should be ready but not applied. The plants should be spaced according to the variety. Each variety has its own set of spacing requirements. Some plants grow a lot bushier than others and require more space. Some are taller and Viney. Adjust spacing according to plant requirements.  Spacing ranges from 90 Cm X 45 cm to 90 Cm X 60 Cm. The distance from row to row is usually 90 centimeters, but the plant-to-plant distance can vary depending on the variety. 
  • Intercropping: Lots of crops can be intercropped with tomatoes, but I would suggest that you not. Tomatoes are plants that require high maintenance and resources. Pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and insecticides are not to be overlooked with tomato crops. Intercropping with tomatoes gives the alternate plant the benefits and drawbacks which come with the tomato crops. The chances of pests from tomatoes attacking your alternate crop are high but then they also benefit from the fertilizers applied to the tomato plants themselves. It’s a tricky part. Nevertheless, you can intercrop tomatoes with a range of plants. Common plants that are intercropped with tomatoes are root crops like radishes and turnips. You can also intercrop potatoes and carrots with tomatoes. Where the weather conditions are more on the warmer side, try beetroots apart from root crops, kale, Lettuce, and onions can also be intercropped. The worst crops to intercrop are cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts (which are rarely cultivated in India), Kohlrabi, and cabbages. These plants will compete for the same nutrition that tomatoes need.
  • Irrigation: Tomato plants require water near the roots but should not be waterlogged. The plants should be provided enough water to their root area while leaving the area around almost dry. This is possible with precision farming and drip irrigation. Mulching sheets with a proper drip irrigation system can increase the growth and yield of tomato plants. With flood irrigation, watering should be done once a week. This is not recommended because the water level rises fully for one day with the water level depleting for the next 6 days. The growth of weeds is high in flood irrigation and wastage of nutrients is also an issue. With proper precision farming, you will need a 1-hour watering schedule per day per acre. With mulching sheets, the water is usually not evaporated and remains in the ground for a whole 24 hours. The root penetration is very high and the nutrients are well absorbed. 
  • Fertilizers: If you notice carefully in the expense chart, the expenses for fertilizer range anywhere from 8 thousand to 10 thousand rupees. This is much higher than most vegetable crops where fertilizer expenses range from 4-5 thousand rupees only. Tomatoes require fertilizers every 10 days from the date of planting in the fields. Regulate fertilizing to tomato plants to give the plant rapid, regular growth. Changing fertilizers throughout the growth cycle of the play is important too. During the initial stages, phosphorus and nitrogen is the key requirement for the plant, but after a month and a half, the plants require more phosphorus and potash for better fruits and flowers.
  • Pests & Diseases: Tomato plants are prone to pests and diseases more than most other vegetables. They are sensitive to weather conditions and can contract a range of fungal diseases. Blight, Bacterial Leaf spot, Bacterial Wilt, Damping off and a range of diseases can occur in tomato plants. The only way to succeed with tomato crops is to prevent them from happening. The application of pesticides immediately when you see these diseases and treating them is important. Some diseases can be prevented from spreading by removing the entire plant and destroying them. When it comes to pests, there is a range too. Aphids, thrips, and mites are common. There is a range of pests that attack tomatoes. An article can just be dedicated to the pests in tomatoes. Some of these pests give rise to disease and help spread from one plant to another. Controlling pests with the right pesticide immediately when you detect them is important to reduce crop damage. Remember pests can spread rapidly in just a few hours to up to a day or two.
  • Training and Pruning: From the second week onwards, construction of trellises commence. It takes approximately 4 days to a week to construct trellises to support the plants. The plants are tied from the base to the top of the trellises for support. Pruning with a 3g Cutting is known to improve yield in plants. Knowing how to make the cutting is important. Cutting is done a month from planting in the field or when the plant reaches a height of 1.5 feet. The base stems till the fifth leaf is completely removed and the top of the head of the plant is cut to produce more lateral branches. The lateral branches, usually referred to as the second-generation branches are also cut after they reach the length of 7 inches. The third-generation branches which are the offshoots from the second-generation branches are plenty and have more flowers and fruits. This method needs to be considered carefully and requires time, patience, and expertise. With 3G cutting, the need for fertilizers and irrigation increases. You may also need to make provision for extensive support for the heavy branches which bear all the fruits
  • Harvesting: the harvesting commences from the third month of the tomato plant or 2 months after replanting them to the field provided they were well cared for and fertilized. There will be a total of 10 pickings. Some varieties will have only 7 to 8 harvests while others may prolog to a little over 10 pickings depending on the variety. Tomato harvests are done twice a week usually in the mornings or late evenings. They are plucked when they are about to change color from green to orange. Fruits picked during this stage have a longer shelf life. There is no need to ripen them as they will be ripened over time naturally. Depending on the variety, the yield can be roughly between 20-25 tonnes per hectare on a normal variety and 50-55 tonnes per hectare on a hybrid high-yielding variety.
  • Post Harvest: Tomatoes are packed in wooden boxes for transportation. Short-distance transportation can be done in cardboard boxes but since the fruits are fragile and are prone to damage, most traders will not accept the product unless they are well packed in wooden crates. Once picked, tomatoes are packed in crates and immediately transported to the market. Most markets will accept semi-ripe tomatoes and this is the best kind of produce for local transportation. Fully green tomatoes are the best for long-distance transportation. Once the tomatoes are 2 days old, they are in pinkish-orange color, and ready for sale. Fully ripe tomatoes are rarely accepted in the market as they have a very short shelf life. 
  • Yield: A total of 25 Tonnes of produce can be expected in 10 pickings. An average of 2 Tonnes per picking per hectare or around 1 tonne per acre is not uncommon. Most markets will be able to handle one tonne of tomato produce easily and can be sold. Do not try to sell more than 20 KG from your farm. Chances are you will not be able to sell more than that unless you have a wide network of visitors to your farm. Local shops may procure around 25-50 KG depending on the movement. Most grocers will not accept more than 100 KG per day. 
  • Area of cultivation: Tomatoes are produced in most dry states during the winter or just before summer. April and May usually do not have any tomato production and this is the time when the price peaks. All dry areas like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhyapradesh, and parts of Uttar Pradesh are high tomato-producing states. Poor production can be seen in some states like Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and where frost conditions are common. Andhrapradesh and Madhyapradesh have consistently been the highest producers of Tomatoes in the country since early 2000.
  • Market information: The market for Tomatoes is fluctuating. Some years have seen a scarcity of tomatoes with high prices while in some years the production has been stable with a stable price. There are times when tomatoes sold for less than 5 rupees and there have been times when the product hit 150 rs per kilo. It is difficult to estimate when the price will go high or low. The major reason for the hike in price is the demand for the product and the lack of the same in the market. Unfortunately, timely measures are not taken by the government or private parties to understand the cultivation of tomatoes in any area every year. The only thing we can be sure of is that tomato production is at its lowest during April and May.
  • Weed Control: Weed control should be taken into priority from the first stage. Once the land is prepared and the plants are ready, the mulching paper should be spread out in the beds. 25 Micron Mulching paper is preferred for vegetables and is suited for tomatoes too. The holes should be made at the right distance and spacing. Before providing munching, drip irrigation should be done. The mulching paper does not work well with flood irrigation systems. Mulching removes the need for excessive welding and reduces the overall cost and also the requirement for labor. Manual weeding is high in cost and not reliable with labor scarcity.

Profit from tomato crops per acre, Estimates, and economics

Let’s estimate the expenses first before jumping into yield and returns.

Nursery Preparation
Seeds (60 Grams)3000
Cocopeat500
Perlite700
Grow Tray1000
Total Labour1500
Farm Preparation
Plowing2500
Cow Manure and Organic Compost4000
Mulching Paper8000
Trellises25000
Ongoing Expenses
Fertilizers8000 (includes application)
Pesticides8000 (includes application)
Others
Harvesting8000
Transportation10000
Packaging5000
Total Cost85,200

An exorbitant amount for the one-acre crop which argues to be profitable. Risky to invest such a huge amount in a cash crop but the bargains are high and the chance of profitability is high but risky.

Now let’s look at some of the income figures and how much you may make depending on the market value and Yield

 In this scenario, let’s assume that the total yield is 5 tonnes per acre but the prices vary.

PriceTotal RevenueProfit (revenue – expense
315000-70200
420000-65200
525000-60200
630000-55200
735000-50200
840000-45200
945000-40200
1050000-35200
1155000-30200
1260000-25200
1365000-20200
1470000-15200
1575000-10200
1680000-5200
1785000-200
18900004800
19950009800
2010000014800

5 Tonnes per acre is the lowest yield in tomatoes and most farmers usually get a yield from 10 Tonnes per acre to even 20 tonnes per acre depending on the variety. But if you have just 5 tonnes yield per acre, you would only break even when the price is 18 rs per kilo or more. Let’s assume the Yield was 10 Tonnes per acre this time and see where we break even

Profit if your yield is 10 Tonnes

PriceTotal RevenueProfit
330000-55200
440000-45200
550000-35200
660000-25200
770000-15200
880000-5200
9900004800
1010000014800
1111000024800
1212000034800
1313000044800
1414000054800
1515000064800
1616000074800
1717000084800
1818000094800
19190000104800
20200000114800

Here, You break even when the price is 9 rupees or more if you have 10 tonnes of yield

In the last scenario, let’s assume that you do have the maximum yield of 20 tonnes per acre.

PriceTotal RevenueProfit
360000-25200
480000-5200
510000014800
612000034800
714000054800
816000074800
918000094800
10200000114800
11220000134800
12240000154800
13260000174800
14280000194800
15300000214800
16320000234800
17340000254800
18360000274800
19380000294800
20400000314800

With a 20 Tonnes yield per acre, chances are that you will make a profit even if the prices drop to 5 rupees per kilo, albeit at a very small profit. If you do have a yield of 20 tonnes and the price is consistently above 20 rupees, you would stand to make a profit of 3 Lakh rupees per acre in 4-5 months. This is an excellent profit for any crop when it comes to per acre calculation. But of course, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. First of all, you need to get the right seeds to ensure a high yield of more than 20 tonnes per acre. Second, you need to make sure that your entire farming practice is well-maintained and monitored. From irrigation, fertilizers, and pest control, everything should be perfectly balanced. You should prevent the wastage of money and resources. And last of all, when the product is ready, you should have a good price too.

If all of the above factors are in your favor, then the average profit per acre from tomato cultivation could range anywhere from 14,000 rs to 3 Lakh rupees per crop. And if you ever go on a loss, the loss would be in the estimate of 1 Lakh rupees in revenue and 4-5 months in time.

You should ensure that the average tomato yield per acre is more than 10 tonnes and nearing 20 tonnes.

Tips for High yield and high-quality produce of Tomatoes

  1. Trellis is the key to better tomato crops. The better the trellis and support, you will have better branching and fruiting. If the trellis is not able to support your fruits, no matter what yield you get, most of it will be damaged
  2. Mulching: Mulching is best for preventing weeds but when it comes to tomato crops, it’s also the one barrier between your fruit and the soil. Tomatoes are heavy and usually require the support of trellises to bear their fruit weight. Even with all the support, you will find a good 10-15% of your fruits touching the ground. These fruits will usually be stained, rotten, or spoilt once it touches the ground during their maturing stages resulting in poor price. Mulching sheets will prevent these fruits from going bad and not touching the soil, straight away giving you a 10% increase in yield of good quality produce
  3. Application of prevention pesticides and insecticides. : Most farmers take action once they find a disease or pest. Some farmers take advanced measures. It’s important to keep a watch on the pest and disease conditions on your farm but if a farmer near you is facing a pest condition that you haven’t started getting yet, it’s time to start a prevention schedule for those pests. It may not be necessary at all and these pests may never attack your crop, but the risk in tomato crops could be very expensive
  4. Timely application of fertilizers: Fertilisers and irrigation make for a good tomato crop. Fertilize your crop every 10 days. There should be no delay in fertilizing the crops depending on the nutrients required for each phase
  5. Irrigation. With Mulching sheets in place, do not take the risk of leaving your plants under stress. Water your plants daily during evening hours. One hour with drip irrigation is all it takes. Plants that are stressed continuously for water will produce poor fruits and flowers

FAQ – Tomato Farming & Cultivation in India

1. What is the best time to start tomato farming in India?

The best time to start tomato farming in India depends on the region and climate. In most parts of India, the ideal time for sowing tomato seeds or transplanting seedlings is during the late monsoon or early winter season. This ensures that the plants grow in favorable weather conditions and produce a good yield.

2. Which type of soil is suitable for tomato cultivation?

Tomatoes thrive in well-draining, loamy soil that is rich in organic matter. Sandy loam or clay loam soils are considered ideal for tomato cultivation. It is crucial to maintain soil pH between 6.0 to 7.0 for optimal growth and nutrient uptake by the tomato plants.

3. How should I prepare the soil before planting tomatoes?

Before planting, prepare the soil by plowing or digging to a depth of 12-15 inches. Remove weeds and debris and add well-rotted compost or farmyard manure to improve soil fertility. Conduct a soil test to determine any nutrient deficiencies and adjust the soil accordingly with appropriate fertilizers.

4. Can I grow tomatoes in containers or pots on my terrace or balcony?

Yes, you can successfully grow tomatoes in containers or pots on your terrace or balcony. Choose dwarf or bushy tomato varieties suitable for container gardening. Ensure the containers have drainage holes, use high-quality potting mix, and provide adequate sunlight and water for healthy growth.

5. How often should I water my tomato plants?

Tomatoes require regular and consistent watering, especially during the flowering and fruiting stages. Water the plants deeply at least 2-3 times a week, depending on the weather conditions. Avoid waterlogging, as it can lead to root rot and other diseases.

6. What are the common pests and diseases that affect tomato plants and how can I manage them?

Common pests that affect tomato plants include aphids, whiteflies, and fruit borers, while diseases like early blight and powdery mildew are prevalent. To manage pests, you can use natural predators, neem oil, or organic insecticides. For diseases, crop rotation, proper sanitation, and fungicides can be employed.

7. Should I use fertilizers for tomato plants, and if so, what type?

Yes, fertilizers are essential for healthy tomato plants. Use a balanced NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) fertilizer or opt for organic alternatives like compost, vermicompost, or well-rotted manure. Start with a fertilizer high in phosphorus to encourage root development and fruiting.

8. How do I support tomato plants as they grow taller?

Tomato plants tend to grow tall and require support to prevent them from bending or breaking due to the weight of the fruits. Use stakes or cages to support the plants and tie the main stem gently to the support structure as it grows.

9. When can I expect to harvest tomatoes, and how do I know they are ripe?

The time to harvest tomatoes varies depending on the variety, but it generally takes 70 to 80 days from planting to the first harvest. Ripe tomatoes should be firm, brightly colored, and easily detach from the plant when gently twisted.

10. Can I save tomato seeds for the next season?

Yes, you can save tomato seeds for the next season. Choose fully ripe and healthy tomatoes, remove the seeds, and allow them to ferment in water for a few days. Rinse and dry the seeds thoroughly before storing them in a cool, dry place for future planting.

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