Hokim Cuts down 25 hectares of Fruit Trees

February 13, 2018

I write to you from Gurtepa kishlak of the Mingbulak district of Namangan region. While the President speaks about exporting agricultural produce and attracting investments to our country, the hokim [ed. – governor] of the Mingbulak district has verbally threatened fruit growers and destroyed 25 hectares of blossoming fruit trees. As of now, only 1-2 hectares of trees are left but he is demanding that they too are cut down as soon as possible.

Some fruit growers have refused to cut down the blossoming trees but the hokim has threatened to seize their land and turn it into cotton fields. For a fruit grower, there is no punishment worse than cutting down his own trees which he has been working so hard to grow. We made our living growing these trees and now, a garden that once delighted our eyes, has been turned into an idle field. The hokims say that the President authorized them to do that. Have they really been authorized to destroy gardens that provide tons of fruit?

February 10, 2017, a letter to the Radio Ozodlik