Indonesia has produced the heaviest recorded melon, weighing 5.8 kilograms (kg), from the Laguna Green House in Semarang City. The World Indonesian Achievement Institute (LEPRID) officially recognized the achievement, naming the melon the heaviest in Indonesia. The achievement was attributed to the use of modern and computerized systems in melon cultivation at the Laguna Green House. The farm, run by young, forward-thinking individuals, uses hydroponic methods, specifically with the Hamigua variety, for optimal growth conditions and increased harvest yields. This achievement serves as an example of innovative and effective agricultural practices in Indonesia.
According to Al Akhbar news from November 29, 2023, a meeting among Moroccan farmers aims to lift the watermelon cultivation ban, despite a protest by women from several douars. The prefectural decree, introduced in Nov-22, aimed to curb groundwater overexploitation and restricted water usage for water-intensive crops. The ongoing debate highlights the tension between local economic interests and environmental and water management concerns. Watermelon is a flagship crop in Morocco, with 65% of watermelon imports in Spain originating from Morocco.
The Malichita brand of melons has been recalled due to Salmonella contamination, causing 162 illnesses and three deaths. Producers and shippers are concerned that these recalls are related to the same product, label, and distributor, which is not being adequately communicated. The President of the California Cantaloupe Advisory Board emphasizes the need for more accurate information, including actual case counts and a direct link to the origin. They advocate for more attention to food safety, especially regarding melons grown in Mexico, and emphasize the importance of farmers taking necessary precautions to prevent diseases. In California, the California Cantaloupe Advisory Board operates a mandatory food safety program to ensure producers follow food safety practices through government audits.
According to the Spanish Federation of Associations of Fruit and Vegetable Exporters of Spain (FEPEX), Spanish fruit and vegetable exports saw a 25.5% year-on-year (YoY) increase in volume in Sep-23, reaching 379.7 thousand metric tons (mt). This growth was driven by the watermelon, nectarine, and melon segments, which saw substantial increases in export volume and value. Watermelon saw a 109% YoY increase, reaching 61 thousand tons and generating USD 36.4 million (EUR 33.6 million). Meanwhile, melons saw a 26.5% YoY increase, reaching 35.6 thousand tons and generating an income of USD 27.5 million (EUR 25.4 million). These fruits contributed to an 11% YoY growth in the fruit segment.
Costa Rican melon and watermelon producers are cautious in planning their 2024 programs. The past two harvests revealed a loss of competitiveness against Honduras and Brazil in the January to April market window, prompting producers to adopt a more conservative approach. The strategy involves selectively planting melons and watermelons for clients willing to commit to fixed prices and assume the risk by making advance payments in July/August. Planting for these fixed contract volumes begins in Oct-23, with harvest and delivery scheduled for Jan-24. No volumes are planted for spot sales and will only be offered if unexpected good climatic conditions result in yields exceeding those planned for fixed contracts.