The Complete Guide to Tomato Export from India

Tomato Export From India, Export Quality Tomato

Tomatoes are a popular product, and India grows a lot of them. We'll take you through the step-by-step process of tomato export from India, from getting good tomatoes to dealing with the rules and logistics. Whether you're new to exporting or have some experience, this guide will show you how to export tomatoes from India, making it easier for tomato exporters in India to tap into the global market.

Why Choose Tomatoes for Exports

Tomatoes are an excellent choice for export from India for several reasons. They are in high demand globally and used in a wide range of dishes, making them a popular and sought-after commodity. Indian tomatoes are known for their great taste and quality, making them appealing to international consumers and making India a top tomato exporting country. The cost-effective production methods in India, along with the abundant supply of around 111 lakh tonnes, ensure competitive prices and a consistent supply. The Indian government's initiatives to support tomato growers and facilitate exports further enhance the export potential. India's strategic geographical location, diverse tomato varieties, year-round production, and growing health consciousness among consumers make exporting Indian tomatoes a promising venture. Additionally, trade agreements with other countries reduce trade barriers, providing a competitive edge for Indian tomato exporters.

Opportunity in Tomato Export from India and Market Size

The total addressable market (TAM) for tomatoes was estimated to be worth USD 181.74 billion in 2022. Projections indicate significant growth, with expectations to reach a total market value of USD 273.2 billion by the year 2031. This anticipated expansion represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 4.635% during the forecast period, spanning from 2023 to 2031. Notably, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to play a pivotal role in driving the market's revenue during this period.

Madanapalle tops the tomato business and stands out as the largest tomato market in Asia, playing a central role in supplying tomatoes to many southern and northern states of India. India, as a whole, ranks as the second-largest producer of tomatoes worldwide, contributing a substantial 21,181,000 tonnes to this global output.

The tomato market extends beyond Asia, with notable growth potential in the Middle East, especially Dubai. As a global trade hub, Dubai serves as a strategic gateway for the tomato market, witnessing an increasing demand for fresh, high-quality tomatoes. This growing demand makes Dubai an appealing market for both local and international suppliers.

India also tops in tomato puree export from India and tomato paste export from India are on the rise as tomato prices are stabilized as Indian tomato processors are now capable of satisfying the increasing global need for tomato paste.

Government Incentives and Perks

Duty Drawback

The Duty Drawback Scheme is a beneficial initiative for tomato exporters. It enables exporters to claim a refund on customs and excise duties they paid for imported and locally sourced materials used in the production of tomato products for export.


The RoDTEP scheme benefits both manufacturers and traders who export tomatoes. Unlike some other schemes, there's no specific requirement for a minimum sales turnover to qualify for RoDTEP benefits. However, it's important to note that these benefits don't apply to products meant for re-export.

Interest Equalization Scheme 

The Interest Equalization Scheme is there to help various tomato exporters, including manufacturer exporters and merchant exporters, especially those falling within specific tariff lines. This scheme makes it easier for all kinds of exporters, including micro, small, and medium-sized businesses, to access export credit on more favorable terms, supporting the tomato export business in India.

How to Source Tomatoes for Exports

If you're just starting with tomato exports, that's perfectly fine. There are many chances to explore. Let's dive into the main areas where tomatoes are grown and in great demand.

Top 10 States That Produce Export-Quality Tomatoes (2021-22)                                                                      

Sr No. State Production (In Tonnes) Share(%)
1 Madhya Pradesh 2,970.00 14.63
2 Andhra Pradesh 2,217.00 10.92
3 Karnataka 2,077.00 10.23
4 Tamil Nadu 1,489.03 7.34
5 Orissa 1,432.29 7.06
6 Gujarat 1,395.00 6.87
7 West Bengal 1,284.00 6.33
8 Chattisgarh 1,149.00 5.66
9 Maharashtra 1,125.00 5.54
10 Bihar 951.00 4.68

Procurement Options: Farmers, Vegetable Markets, and Vendors

When it comes to getting tomatoes for export, you have several options to think about. Here are the main ways to get tomatoes:

Farmers: Building direct connections with tomato farmers can be a good idea. It lets you control the quality and how the tomatoes are grown, making sure they meet the standards for international export.

Vegetable Markets: Local vegetable markets are busy places where tomatoes are bought and sold in large quantities. They have many types of tomatoes, and you can talk about prices depending on what's happening in the market.

Vendors: Working with experienced vendors and people who gather tomatoes can make it easier to get tomatoes. They usually have connections with farmers and can give you a steady supply of tomatoes that meet the right quality and quantity standards.

Understanding Packaging for Tomatoes

When exporting tomatoes from India, using the right packaging is important. Here's what you need to know:

To ensure that the tomatoes are safe and don't get squashed, it's important to use strong packaging. For export purposes, it's a good idea to choose cardboard boxes that can hold up to 15 kg of tomatoes. The tomatoes are then arranged by size and packed in layers within the box to make the most of the available space. This careful packing method safeguards the tomatoes during transportation. arrange the content in the proper way.

Tips to Find the Best Supplier for Tomato Exports

When searching for reliable tomato suppliers for your export business, it's essential to remember this important advice: prioritize quality and trustworthiness. You have various options, including local vegetable markets offering a variety of tomatoes, direct relationships with farmers who grow fresh tomatoes, or established traders with a deep understanding of the market. Regardless of your choice, the key factor remains the consistent quality of the tomatoes and the reliability of the supplier. It's crucial to ensure that your chosen supplier consistently delivers high-quality tomatoes and has a reputation for dependability. Moreover, consider building relationships with multiple suppliers to guarantee a steady and top-quality supply of tomatoes for your export endeavors.

Setting Up Logistics for Tomato Exports

To ensure a successful tomato export business, you need a robust logistics plan to maintain the freshness and quality of your tomatoes during transit. Here's a simplified guide to creating a dependable logistics framework for your tomato export venture:

Choosing a Reliable Freight Forwarder

Selecting the right freight forwarder is a critical step when transporting perishable products like tomatoes. Here's a straightforward guide to help you find the ideal partner:

Expertise in Perishables: Look for a forwarder with a proven track record of handling sensitive products like fruits and vegetables. Their expertise is vital to preserving the freshness and condition of your tomatoes throughout the shipping process.

Efficient Team: Opt for a forwarder equipped with a capable team dedicated to ensuring on-time deliveries and smooth logistics for your tomato shipments.

Customer-Centric Approach: Prioritize a forwarder that prioritizes your needs, providing valuable guidance and assistance in navigating the complexities of tomato exports.

Prompt Quotes and Excellent Service: Choose a forwarder that offers quick, accurate pricing and delivers top-quality service. Your tomatoes deserve nothing less.

Positive Reputation: A forwarder with a strong online presence and positive customer feedback is a trustworthy and credible choice.

One notable player in this field is Tomato Logistics. With our specialization in perishable logistics, a skilled team, swift pricing solutions, and a history of satisfied clients, we're ready to support your tomato export business and help it thrive.

Essential Documents for Tomato Export

Establishing an export company for tomatoes from India involves dealing with various legal requirements and paperwork. While the exact documents needed may differ from one country to another, there are some essential documents that are typically required to set up your tomato export business:

Documents related to Company Registration:

Company Registration: Officially register your tomato export business with the relevant government authorities to establish it as a legal entity.

IEC (Import Export Code): Obtain an IEC (Import Export Code) from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). This 10-digit code is crucial for import-export operations and is recognized by customs authorities.

Tax Identification Number (TIN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN): These unique identification numbers are necessary for tax purposes and business identification.

Trade License: Depending on your specific export activities and location, you may need a trade license to operate legally.

AD Code: Your bank will assign an AD Code , which is essential for foreign exchange transactions and monitoring your export activities.

Port Registration: Register your tomato export shipments at the designated port to facilitate customs processing and clearance. This step involves submitting relevant shipment documents for proper documentation and tracking.

Documents related to goods:

Invoice: Prepare a detailed invoice outlining the terms of the tomato sale, including price, quantity, description of the tomatoes, and details of all parties involved in the transaction.

Packing List: Create a comprehensive packing list that provides detailed information about the contents of each package. Include the quantity of tomatoes in each package, their weight, and the type of packaging used.

Certificate of Origin: Obtain a Certificate of Origin for the tomatoes, which certifies their country of origin. This is essential for customs clearance and determining applicable tariffs.

Documents related to shipment:

Shipping Bill: Prepare a shipping bill , a customs declaration required for export clearance. It's crucial for compliance with customs regulations, your CHA shall help in generating S/B for exports.

Bill of Lading (B/L): Obtain a Bill of Lading from the shipping company i.e is provided by Shipping line or Nvocc, serving as evidence of the receipt of your tomatoes and outlining the terms of their carriage.

Documents related to the quality of goods:

Phytosanitary Certificate: Obtain a phytosanitary certificate confirming that your tomatoes are free from pests and diseases, ensuring their quality and safety.

GLOBALGAP Certification: If applicable, showcase your commitment to safe and sustainable agricultural practices by obtaining GLOBALGAP certification, demonstrating adherence to international standards for quality and sustainability.

Health Certificate: In some destinations, a health certificate may be required to verify that your tomatoes meet health and safety standards, ensuring compliance with these requirements for a smooth export process.

Organic Certificate (if applicable): If your tomatoes are organically cultivated, you'll need an Organic Farming Certificate to verify their organic status, ensuring adherence to organic farming practices and quality standards.

Documents related to Foreign Exchange Regulations:

GR Form (Goods Receipt Form): Comply with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) requirement to ensure the repatriation of export proceeds from tomato sales within specified timelines, regulating and monitoring foreign exchange transactions associated with your tomato exports.

Other Documents:

Bank Realization Certification (BRC): This certificate is provided by the bank once payment is received, serving as confirmation of the successful conversion of foreign exchange from the export transaction.

Finding International Buyers for Tomatoes

Expanding your tomato export business involves connecting with international buyers for your tomatoes. This crucial step opens up new markets and growth possibilities for your tomato export endeavors from India.

Top Importing Countries for Tomatoes from India

  1. Bangladesh
  2. Nepal 
  3. United Arab Emirates 
  4. Maldives
  5. Qatar

How to Find an International Buyer for Tomatoes

When searching for international buyers for your tomato export business, a well-thought-out plan is essential. This involves research, networking, participation in trade shows, and leveraging the internet. The key objective is to connect with buyers who have an interest in your tomatoes. Here are three effective strategies for engaging with potential tomato buyers:

Enhance Online Visibility: Boost your global online presence by investing in search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. This will make it easier for potential buyers to discover your tomato export business through online searches.

Build a Strong Tomato Brand: Focus on establishing a robust brand identity right from the start. Invest in social media marketing to create a powerful online presence for your tomato products, attracting buyers seeking top-quality tomatoes.

Collaborate with Customs House Agents (CHAs): Customs House Agents often have extensive networks within the export industry. Don't hesitate to seek their support in connecting with potential tomato buyers. They can offer valuable insights and introductions to help grow your export business.


We understand that tomato exports from India offer exciting opportunities to meet global demand. To succeed in this endeavor, it's crucial to recognize the advantages, refine your sourcing, manage logistics effectively, and establish strong relationships with buyers.

At Citrus Freight , we are fully committed to supporting your tomato exports. We provide reliable ocean freight services customized to the needs of perishable exporters like you. With an extensive network spanning more than 100 pickup locations throughout India and global connections across the world, we are dedicated to ensuring your success in tomato exports.