Updated: Aug 30
Tomatoes are one of the most popular and versatile fruits used in various culinary preparations worldwide. Vietnamese Tomatoes are often mistaken for vegetables and belong to the fruit family due to their seed-bearing nature. With their vibrant red hue and refreshing taste, they have become a staple ingredient in numerous dishes.
Overview about tomatoes.
Tomatoes, scientifically known as Solanum lycopersicum and belonging to the Solanaceae family, are a popular fruit used in culinary applications. Originally native to South America, tomatoes were cultivated by the Aztecs and Incas. Spanish explorers introduced the fruit to Europe during the 16th century.
For human health, tomatoes play a crucial role, providing essential nutrients such as Vitamin C, protein, fiber, and the beneficial compound lycopene. The fruit starts as green and ripens to shades ranging from yellow to red. Tomatoes are now consumed in various forms, including fresh, juiced, in smoothies, and as ingredients in numerous dishes prepared at home.
In Vietnam, tomatoes are considered an economically valuable vegetable crop, with extensive cultivation spanning tens of thousands of hectares. The majority of tomato cultivation occurs in the Red River Delta and the northern midlands. However, with the development of new heat-tolerant hybrid varieties, tomato cultivation has expanded to the Central, Central Highlands, and Southern regions. Notably, Lam Dong province, particularly in Da Lat, has seen significant progress in developing high-quality hybrid tomato varieties, some of which have been exported to the global market.
In recent years, tomato cultivation in Vietnam has covered an area of approximately 23,000 to 25,000 hectares, with around 40% of the cultivation concentrated in the Southern region, accounting for approximately 9,000 hectares. Among the Southern provinces, Lam Dong has the largest tomato cultivation area, approximately 7,000 hectares per year as of 2020.
In Vietnam, tomatoes are widely grown and consumed, making them an integral part of the country's agricultural and culinary traditions. The continual expansion of tomato cultivation and the development of high-quality hybrid varieties have positioned Vietnam as a significant player in the global tomato market.
Diverse Vietnamese Tomatoes Varieties Cultivated.
Farmers in Vietnam cultivate a wide variety of tomatoes, each possessing unique characteristics and serving different purposes. There are approximately 7,500 tomato varieties grown in the country, catering to diverse needs and preferences. Purebred tomatoes are becoming increasingly popular, especially among gardeners and producers who aim to cultivate plants with enhanced flavor profiles, disease resistance, and higher yields.
In Vietnam, three common types of tomatoes are prevalent:
Red Tomatoes: have a typical round shape and are non-segmented. The fruit's flesh is dense, with a substantial amount of pulp and high sugar content. The average yield of red tomatoes ranges from 25 to 30 tons per hectare. Some commonly encountered varieties include Ba Lan, Hong Lan from the Institute of Food Crops, as well as varieties like 214, HP5, and HP1 from Hai Phong province.
Segmented Tomatoes: have larger fruit with multiple compartments forming segments. These plants have indeterminate growth, meaning they continue to produce fruit throughout a longer growth period. While they exhibit good disease resistance and yield capacity, their fruit quality may not be as superior as that of red tomatoes.
Cherry Tomatoes: are much smaller compared to regular tomatoes. They come in both round and elongated shapes, with a uniform red color. One distinguishing feature of cherry tomatoes is their sweeter taste compared to regular tomatoes. Many people enjoy eating cherry tomatoes raw, treating them as a type of fruit. They are of lower value and are often used as breeding materials to develop new varieties.
Tomatoes contain essential vitamins like Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and beta-carotene. Vitamin B supports energy production and proper nerve function. Vitamin C is crucial for a robust immune system, healthy skin, and collagen formation. Beta-carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A, is vital for vision and maintaining healthy skin and mucous membranes.
The natural antioxidants found in tomatoes help prevent cancer and cellular aging by neutralizing harmful free radicals. These antioxidants are widely used in weight management and anti-aging formulas.
Overall, tomatoes play a vital role in promoting overall health and reducing the risk of chronic illnesses. Regular consumption of tomatoes can contribute to a stronger immune system, healthier skin, and improved heart health. Including tomatoes in a balanced diet is a delicious and nutritious way to boost one's overall well-being.
Production and Consumption of Tomatoes in Vietnam.
Tomatoes are among the most widely cultivated and consumed fruit-bearing vegetables worldwide, featured in everyday dishes and various food processing industries. As of 2020, the global tomato cultivation area exceeded 5.05 million hectares, producing approximately 187 million tons of tomatoes (FAOSTAT, 2022).
In Vietnam, cherry tomatoes are extensively grown in cooler hilly and mountainous regions like Da Lat and Sapa. In 2020, tomatoes were commonly cultivated and consumed throughout the country. The tomato cultivation area in recent years has fluctuated around 23,000 to 25,000 hectares, with approximately 40% of the cultivation concentrated in the Southern region, accounting for roughly 9,000 hectares. Among the Southern provinces, Lam Dong has the largest tomato cultivation area, approximately 7,000 hectares per year.
In the Southern provinces, the use of hybrid F1 tomatoes is prevalent, with popular varieties such as 386, Kim Cuong Do (Red Diamond), Anna, Savio, and Lahay. The Lahay variety is specifically favored for greenhouse cultivation in Lam Dong province. The average price of tomato seeds ranges from 25 to 40 million Vietnamese dong per kilogram, with some instances reaching 43 million dong per kilogram for outdoor production varieties. The price for greenhouse tomato seeds, like Lahay, averages from 1,500 to 4,000 dong per seed.
The cultivation and consumption of tomatoes continue to thrive in Vietnam, with hybrid varieties gaining popularity for their productivity and quality, particularly in greenhouse production. The tomato industry plays a significant role in the nation's agriculture and food security, ensuring a steady supply of this beloved fruit-vegetable to meet domestic demands and contribute to the global market.
The Vietnamese government encourages agricultural development and promotes sustainable farming practices, including tomato cultivation. Various initiatives are taken to provide farmers with access to technology, resources, and training to improve production efficiency. The cultivation of various tomato varieties throughout the country ensures a steady supply for domestic consumption and export. As Vietnam's agricultural sector continues to evolve, the production and consumption of tomatoes remain integral to the nation's food security and economic growth.