Highlights

Meghalaya Government hosted the cherry blossom festival starting of November Every year. Current year the cherry blossom festival has been cancelled due to Pandemic. It is the only Cherry festival being conducted in India.

The cherry blossom festival hosts live music, stalls showcasing the cuisine, beauty pageants, etc.

The festival is a national festival of Michigan. It is celebrated in Japan as well.

Cherry production in India

India is the 26th largest producer country of cherry in the world. The top 3 producers of cherry are Turkey, United States of America and Iran. Cherry in India was introduced from Europe Under British India. On the flip side, the commercial sour Cherry was introduced from USA.  The other varieties of cherry were introduced from British Columbia, Canadian Province.

In India, cherry is commercially cultivated in Union Territory Jammu & Kashmir where the hail storm problem is not encountered. The Cherry productivity in J&K is 1.73 tons per hectare.

Cherry cultivation

Cherries require cold climatic conditions. They grow well at height of 2500 metres above sea level. It requires 100 to 125 centimeter of annual rainfall. Cherry is required for sandy loam soil with high moisture holding capacity. They are sensitive to water stagnation.

Why is commercial Cherry cultivation less in Meghalaya as compared to Jammu & Kashmir?

The cherry blossom trees in northeastern state Meghalaya are different from the cherry trees in the regions of Uttar Pradesh and J&K. The cherry tree that are producing best flowers frequently have insignificant fruits. The trees with the most delicious taste have less emphasis on flowers. Thus, the cherries in the Northern part of India are used for commercial cultivation and those in the North Eastern parts are used to promote tourism.

Also, the cherries require 1200-1500 hours of chill climate. This requisite cannot be achieved in Meghalaya.

However, a popular underutilised cherry fruit is grown in Meghalaya state known the SOHIONG. India International Cherry Blossom Festival of Shillong cancelled India International Cherry Blossom Festival of Shillong cancelled