YOGYAKARTA- Again, UGM is to harvest about 1,500 melons of Gama Melon Basket (GMB) and Melodi Gama 1, which were planted in The Agricultural Training, Research and Development Station (UGM KP4), on Friday (4/11). Of this number, 500 are Melodi Gama and the rest are GMB.
Melon harvest Coordinator, Taufiqurahman said that the melon harvest this year is the second after previously performed in June. The difference is, Taufiqurahman said, for harvest in June, the results are less satisfactory because of soil condition that is less good. As a result, the weight of melons harvested is less than the maximum of about 1.5 kg.
"For this time, we harvest bigger melons than in June due to good soil condition and supportive climate," Taufiq said on the sidelines of the event.
The S2 student of Faculty of Biology added that the harvest of GMB and Melodi Gama 1 melons can be done 2-3 times every year. Actually, the harvest this time ideally should be done next Monday. However, considering the rainy weather, the harvest is done today.
"This is done to avoid the term of 'Kopyor' in Javanese. In addition, if the melons are continuously under the rain, they won’t taste sweet," he added.
One of uniqueness or superiority of these two melons is they can be harvested faster than ordinary melons. If the usual melons for harvest take about 50-60 days, the GMB and Melodi Gama 1 can be harvested within 40 days. Not only that, GMB melon that looks like a basketball also has a row of lines like the symbol of UGM.
Besides, laboratory test shows that its beta-carotene content is higher than that in ordinary melons. In fact, not long ago in the UGM Research Week 2011, this melon was made into ice cream.
“The content is good for the eye due to its very high beta-carotene content," he said.
To treat the GMB and Melodi Gama 1, according to Taufiqurahman, is actually not complicated. Fertilizer that is used so far is only NPK. Nevertheless, Taufiq admitted in addition to weather factors, some melons were infected by Begomovirus species causing the death of some melons that are not resistant to the virus.
"You can see the leaves become yellow and even curly," Taufiq explained.
Besides in KP4, GMB and Melodi Gama 1 melons are currently being tested in other locations, such as in Kediri and Purwodadi. Later, if the test is successful, the launching of the new seed will be done.
Some time ago, the manager of GMB and Melodi Gama 1 melons, Dr. Budi S. Daryono, M. Agr. Sc, explained that the GMB becomes the best variety produced from a wide range of cultivars or varieties developed in the cross-breeding. Based on the genetic code, GMB is a cross-bred between TC4 and F2B5. Both types of breeders’ code represent a blend of local melon and imported ones. TC4 cultivar generates the orange color as salmon’s meat.
"It (GMB) is superior to other types of melons and more resistant to diseases, especially powdery mildew and viruses, has a high content of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and the taste is sweeter," Budi said.