The Cuban government is fighting deforestation by paying farmers to plant trees.

  The initiative, which involves paying farmers a 30% bonus if 85% of their saplings survive, follows years of deforestation on hillsides due to tobacco and sugar cane planting.

Trees being planted on forest farms managed by state-run enterprises include fast-growing species for firewood, local hardwoods and fruit trees. Farm families reforest an average area of 30-50ha.

An earlier planting scheme tried by the government failed because it provided no incentive for farmers to look after the saplings, with most of the trees dying as a result.