Agronomists say fresh produce farming can claim a higher stake in the agriculture trade industry if growers adopt hybrid seed varieties that produce higher yields and are more disease resistant compared to open pollinated varieties.

While the market gardening sector has been growing exponentially owing to urban sprawl, farmers often have their fresh produce rejected by markets due to quality concerns.

Farming experts, who hosted a fresh produce field day, urged farmers to take up more hybrid seed varieties to enhance quality and yields and subsequently business viability. 

The field day which had a thrust on production of crops like tomatoes, onions, cabbages, fine beans and garden vegetables, among other horticultural crops, attracted fresh produce farmers from around Zimbabwe and it falls at a time when the agriculture industry intends to push horticulture export earnings from the current $54 million to surpass the 1999 peak of $143 million.