The Tomato Grand Challenge Hackathon, as proclaimed by the government, seeks to inspire ingenious concepts that will revolutionize the Tomato value chain and guarantee its accessibility at cost-effective rates.
The government has just made an exciting announcement that will surely pique the interest of many. Brace yourselves for the Tomato Grand Challenge Hackathon! This hackathon aims to generate innovative ideas that will revolutionize the tomato value chain and make this beloved fruit more accessible and affordable for consumers. The ultimate goal is to ensure that tomato farmers receive fair value for their produce.
Shri Rohit Kumar Singh, the Secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs, is spearheading this initiative in collaboration with the M/o Education (Innovation Cell). They are inviting participants from various backgrounds, including students, research scholars, faculty members, industry professionals, start-ups, MSMEs, LLPs, and professionals. Everyone is encouraged to join in this grand challenge and contribute their unique ideas.
The hackathon focuses on comprehensive interventions throughout the tomato value chain. They are seeking ideas on cropping techniques and market insights for farmers, as well as cultivars with longer shelf-life for fresh markets. Additionally, they are particularly interested in cultivars suitable for processing and innovative interventions that can increase the shelf-life of tomatoes. Transportation, packaging, and storage solutions are also highly valued.
Participants can submit their entries under two tracks: (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 and will go through prototype development and field implementation to ensure scalability and usability on a large scale. The price of the final product will also be taken into consideration.
If you’re interested in taking part in this exciting challenge, you can apply on the official portal: https://doca.gov.in/gtc/index.php
Tomatoes are grown in almost every state in India, although production levels vary. The southern and western regions of India account for a significant portion of tomato production, contributing 56%-58% of the total production in the country. These surplus states supply tomatoes to other markets depending on the production seasons.
Speaking of seasons, they differ across regions. The peak harvesting season occurs from December to February, while the months of July-August and October-November experience lower production levels. The monsoon season in July adds further challenges to distribution and increases transit losses, which ultimately leads to price hikes.
The varying planting and harvesting seasons across regions are primarily responsible for the seasonal price fluctuations of tomatoes. On top of that, temporary disruptions in the supply chain and crop damage due to adverse weather conditions can cause sudden price spikes. Conversely, excessive production at local levels can result in a surplus, causing a significant loss for farmers.
Let’s get our creative juices flowing and come up with groundbreaking ideas that will revolutionize the tomato industry! Together, we can make tomatoes more accessible, affordable, and profitable for everyone involved in the value chain.