This is the largest chestnut forest in the district of Elbasan. For the inhabitants of the Çermenika highlands the chestnut tree provides their only income.
But three years ago the chestnut production started to decline. Farmers say the trees have “cancer”.
Residents of the area, children and adults say that without chestnuts there is no future, thus requiring the intervention of the Ministry of Agriculture. But the chestnut tree of Çermenika is not affected by ‘cancer’, but by the parasite called cinepide, that feeds on the flower of this tree.
“Chestnuts don’t have cancer, but we do have an infection. Years ago it also appeared in Italy, but they made it disappear. The Ministry of Agriculture must intervene, even though it is a challenge “, says Agim Qoku, local biology teacher.