Gama Melon team from Universitas Gadjah Mada socialized about Tacapa Superior Melon to farmer groups of Ngombol in Purworejo, Central Java. The socialization is an attempt to introduce melon cultivation to the public after previous similar activities were also conducted in Blitar and Yogyakarta. This activity was followed by melon harvesting among local farmer groups.
Gama Melon team leader, Dr. Budi Setiadi Daryono M.Agr.Sc, said the introduction and harvesting of Tacapa melon was done by inviting the community to grow melons as a way to increase farmers' income as well as a way to minimize the use of pesticides on melon crops. "Tacapa melon’s endurance against powdery mildew can minimize the use of pesticides as to minimize the possibility of pesticide residues in melon," Budi said, Friday (24/6).
According to Budi, Gama Melon team has worked with the farmers for Tacapa melon cultivation since a few months ago. The cultivation was located on a sandy soil with high winds and uncertain weather, but no crop failures. "It makes farmers interested to cultivate melons in a larger area," said the Biology lecturer.
He explained that Gama Melon team has made the first harvest on Monday. Gold Tacapa Melon with the color of golden yellow was also harvested. Gold Tacapa Melon has a green meat, weighing 2.5-4 kg and its sweetness level reaches 12 brix.
The melon is named Tacapa Gold because the skin is yellow like gold, and an advanced kind of Green Black and Silver Tacapa that have been produced since 2015. Budi Setiadi Daryono guarantees the melon has minimum pesticide residues and free Ethrel, a type of chemical used to ripen the fruit. "The melon has a long storability and its meat will change color when riped, so it does not require Ethrel," he said.
The socialization was attended by approximately 20 farmers and they were quite enthusiastic to know more about the Tacapa melon and other kinds of products from Gama Melon team. It is known that melon farmers still use Ethrel and do not know the danger if it is consumed. In addition, they hope to plant products of Gama Melon. One member of the farmers' group, Barno, was very enthusiastic. "This melon harvest could make other farmers interested in planting it," he concluded.