Generoso Alonso has claimed that prior to the break up of the Soviet Union, Cuba received 500,000m3 a year from Russia, but had now had to change its timber purchasing practices.

Coupled with increased demand for wood-based goods, this has led to the country producing 260,000m3 in 2006, with Mr Alonso adding that this figure should increase in 2007.

Nine new mills have also been opened, along with the modernisation of 70 existing facilities.