YOGYAKARTA – As many as 1,500 melons of Gama Melon Basket (GMB) and Melodi Gama 1 types planted in The Agricultural Training, Research and Development Station of Universitas Gadjah Mada (KP4 UGM) on Thursday (8/7) were harvested. Of this amount, 1,000 melons are of Melodi Gama and the rest is GMB.
According to Dr. Budi Setiadi Daryono, melon researcher who is also lecturer of Faculty of Biology, said that the melons have been initiated to be planted since December 2008. Until now, he successfully harvests the melons at least seven times.
Budi added that especially the GMB type is a hybrid of different types of melons available in various countries. According to Budi, GMB became the best variety produced from various cultivars or varieties developed by hybridization. Based on the genetic code, GMB is a crossbreeding between TC4 and F2B5 varieties. Both types of codes are combination of local and imported melons. TC4 gives the orange color like that of salmon meat. "From the start, we have already harvested the melons seven times," Budi said in KP4.
He added that currently the melons that they are attempting to get certified by the Ministry of Agriculture have many advantages compared with other types of melons, such as the Astros (Korea), Glamour (Japan), and Action (ordinary type). Melodi Gama 1 and GMB are more resistant to disease, particularly flour fungi and virus; they contain high beta-carotene, vitamin C, and taste sweeter. "These melons are better because they are more resistant, sweeter, containing plenty of vitamin C and beta-carotene," he explained.
The planting until harvest time of Melodi Gama 1 and GMB is also relatively quicker or flowering, which is about 57 days. In fact, other types of melons will take approximately 65-75 days to be harvested. "This makes it superior. In terms of time, it is 10 days faster than other types," said Budi.
Average weight of GMB melon is between 1.7 to 1.95 kg, while Melodi Gama is around 1.8 to 2.2 kg. The melons grown in KP4 occupied an area of 3,000 m2. Besides in KP4, the melons are also being tested in many locations in order to obtain seed certification, including in Magetan, Ciamis, Purwokerto, and Lombok. "Its average weight exceeds other types of melon. We also planted the melons in other areas, such as Ciamis, Purwokerto, Lombok, and Magetan," he said.
Budi admitted that in terms of seed technology to produce melons, Indonesia is still behind compared to other countries such as the USA, Thailand, and Korea. In fact, Indonesia as an agricultural country should be independent with these seeds. "Hopefully by November 2010 seed certification of GMB and Melodi Gama can be issued so that later they can be utilized immediately," Budi expected. He added that the melons which are harvested today will also be exhibited in UGM Research Week held in Grha Sabha Pramana (GSP) from 12 to 17 July 2010.