भारत सरकार
उपभोक्ता मामले, खाद्य और सार्वजनिक वितरण मंत्रालय
Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
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उपभोक्ता मामले विभाग
Department of Consumer Affairs
Tomato Grand Challenge
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Shortlisting of Idea submitted under Tomato Grand Challenge- Batch 1 Click here.
Shortlisting of Idea submitted under Tomato Grand Challenge- Batch 2 Click here.
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Tomato Grand Challenge for development of Comprehensive and focused intervention in design of tomato value chain: Pre-production, Primary Processing, Post-Harvest, Storage and Valorization of Tomato.

Grand Tamoto Challenge

Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution monitors the prices of 22 essential food commodities and recommend interventions to stabilize the volatility in prices.

India is the second largest producer of tomatoes in the world and studies estimate that about 30-35% of tomatoes are wasted every year at various stages in its value chain including processed tomatoes. Further, tomato is highly susceptible to price volatility as slight disruptions in supply chain or damage due to heavy rains leads to spike in prices. Due to its importance in horticultural production and consumptions in the country, demand and supply situation often brings large variation in the prices. As majority of the harvesting is done during December to March months and hence the tomato prices tend to be lower while during July-November months it increases during the normal production year. Glut in the production of tomato at local levels in main seasons also is a common phenomenon in the country. Hence, bulk arrival and logistics problems create a situation of glut in the market and dip in prices causing huge loss to the farmers. Tomato is an essential vegetable used in Indian households across the country due to which it has become one of the widely cultivated commercial vegetable crops among the farmers. The main constituents of tomato are vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin K, which not only provides important nutrients but also give it the unique taste, aroma and texture.

Who Can Participate

  • Students(Diploma/UG/PG)
  • Research scholars (JRF, SRF, Scientist, Research/Project Associate etc.)
  • Faculties
  • Indian Companies
  • Startups (Registered/Not registered)
  • MSMEs/LLPs
  • Professionals


Ideation to PoC Stage

Prize money of Rs.25000 up to 40 teams Development Cost up to Rs.75000 per team
Duration: 3 to 4 Months
Status: Active

Stage – 2
PoC to Product Development Stage

Prize money of Rs.50000 upto 20 teams Development Cost up to Rs.5 Lakhs per team
Status: Activated Later

Stage – 3
Field Implementation

One winner in each vertical and two/four runner-ups will be selected and supported appropriately for the field deployment of the solution.
Status: Activated Later

Verticals of Grand Challenge

Vertical 1

Developing and popularizing improved varieties with multiple disease resistance and high shelf-life cultivation technology or practices for fresh market segment suiting to rainy season, high temperature and moisture stress, B. Developing and popularizing improved varieties with multiple disease resistance and high shelf-life, cultivation technology or practices for processing segment and mechanization in production.

Developing and popularizing improved varieties, production technology or practices for fresh market as well as processing that are suitable for production during rainy season, dry and humid heat weather conditions, processing, enhanced fruit shelf-life and mechanized harvesting.

Tomato prices tend to be higher during July-November months. The main production constraints that limit the availability of tomatoes during these months are excess rains during monsoon, dry heat condition during pre-monsoon, humid heat condition during monsoon and short shelf-life of tomato fruits. There are hundreds of cultivars available which are released for commercial cultivation by the ICAR institutions, Agricultural Universities and private seed companies (Annexure I).

Table: Challenges in fresh/table tomato production and expected targets
Challenge(s) Scope of improvement
1.Reduced production in rainy season due to excess soil moisture, reduced light and foliar diseases Cultivars with tolerance to excess soil moisture, fruit setting under cloudy weather conditions and resistance to multiple diseases
2.Low tomato production during high dry heat and humid heat conditions Hot set cultivars with normal fruit setting that can be marketable under dry and humid heat conditions
Table: Challenges in processing tomato production and expected targets
Challenge(s) Scope of improvement
1.Lack of processing cultivars Cultivars with TSS >50Brix, deep red pulp colour, high viscosity and pH of 0.40
2.Cultivars suitable for mechanical harvesting Determinate cultivars that can be grown without staking having concentrated fruiting and jointless pedicel.

Vertical 2

Designing and Disseminating information system pertaining to crop planning, production practices, market intelligence, farmer/ trader/ customer interface, etc. (Remote Sensing, Artificial Intelligences, App based platforms etc.)

Table: Challenges on market intelligence and information dissemination
Challenge(s) Scope of improvement
Lack of site-specific information on production aspects for growers Digital interventions for site-specific information dissemination on cultivars and production technologies. Use of remote sensing, AI and App based interventions.
Real time market intelligence
Interface between growers, nurseries, transporters, traders and processors
Exporters and growers linkages

Vertical 3

Innovative post-harvest treatments, packaging and technologies for long term storage to minimize post- harvest losses during transportation and storage to avoid panic selling due to perishability (Annexure II).

Table: Challenges and scope of improvement
Challenge(s) Scope of improvement
Shelf-life of tomatoes Solutions to improve shelf-life while preserving quality of fruits such as appearance, colour and firmness
Safe and economic packaging solutions Sustainable packaging material
Long term storage solutions Low cost, low energy requiring and environmentally sustainable storage solutions
Losses during transportation Special material for containers/ packaging to reduce loss during transportation, loading and unloading

Vertical 4

Developing value added products and processes for product diversification including utilization of processing waste, and innovative technologies for value addition to avoid panic selling due to perishability.



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