Government announces Tomato Grand Challenge Hackathon to generate innovative ideas to enhance Tomato value chain and ensure its availability at affordable prices

azadi ka amrit mahotsav

The Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, Shri Rohit Kumar Singh announced a Tomato Grand Challenge (TGC) hackathon to invite innovative ideas at various levels of the tomato value chain to ensure availability of tomato to the consumers at affordable prices and help tomato farmers get value for the produce. TGC has been formulated by the Department of Consumer Affairs in collaboration with M/o Education (Innovation Cell).

The Grand Challenge invites ideas on comprehensive and focused area interventions in tomato value chain – from cropping and market insights for the farmers, appropriate cultivars (OP varieties or hybrids) with higher shelf-life of the fruits for fresh marker, cultivars specifically suitable for processing, value-addition through interventions that can increase shelf-life, improve transportation of fresh and processing products, innovative packaging and storage.

The entry of participants for the TGC are invited under two tracks, namely, (i) Students, Research Scholars and Faculty Members and (ii) Industry individuals, Indian start-ups, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Limited Liability Partnership (LLPs), Professionals. The winning ideas will be evaluated by Experts followed by prototype development and field implementation for ensuring its usability/scalability on a large scale and price of the product. Interested participants can apply on the portal:

Tomato is produced almost in all the states in India, though in varying quantities. Maximum production is in southern and western regions of India, contributing 56%-58% of all India production. Southern and Western regions being surplus states, feed to other markets depending on production seasons.

The production seasons are also different across regions. The peak harvesting season occurred in December to February. The periods during July-August and October-November are the lean production months of tomato. July coinciding with monsoon season, adds to further challenges related to distribution and increased transit losses adding to price rise.

The cycle of planting and harvesting seasons and variation across regions are primarily responsible for price seasonality in Tomato. Apart from the normal price seasonality, temporary supply chain disruptions and crop damage due to adverse weather conditions etc. often led to sudden spikes in prices. Conversely, glut in the production of at local levels have also led to dip in prices causing huge loss to the farmers.



Source PIB