In India – Tomato ranks third in priority just after Onion and Potato. However, the country ranks second in area as well as in production of tomato in the World. Tomatoes are native to South America. It is believe that the fruit came to India by way Portuguese explorers. Botanically speaking tomato is a fruit, a berry to be exact.
China, the leading producer of tomatoes. India and the United States followed with second and third highest production of tomatoes
Source – Food and Agriculture Organisation Of the United Nations
Varieties and Availability of Indian Tomato
From small to large, India grows and exports variety of tomatoes all year around. The most common are Cherry, Plum, Roma and Beefsteak.
It is big and broad in size. Reddish pink in colour. Because of the firm texture and sweet acidity, this tomato is the most recognisable of the heirloom.
These are the dullest and flattest in flavour. Beefsteak is low juice as well as large and meaty. It is an excellent all purpose tomato.
These are both i.e. sweeter as well as sourer than big size tomatoes. Cherry is also juicer and pulpier than other varieties.
This tomato is popular for it’s rich colour and concentrated sweetness. The medium size fruit is deep reddish pink.
This is a oblong shaped tomato. Plum’s are fleshy and don’t contain too many seeds. Therefore, these are great for cooking.
These tomatoes share many characteristics with cherry tomatoes. Roma is sweet, juicy and tangy. It also contain high pulp. Thus, roma are use in making sauce and purees.
Sizing is determined by the maximum diameter of the equatorial section. The provision shall not apply to Cherry tomatoes. The minimum size is set at 35 mm for Round and Ribbed tomatoes. For Oblong tomatoes, the minimum size set at 30 mm.
For export purpose, tomatoes are first packed in consumer packs of LDPE or PP. Twenty consumer packs of 250 gm are placed in a 5 kg CFB (Corrugated Fibre Board) box.