Since the 1990s, in the southern districts of Xayabury province in the Mekong corridor, traditional farming systems have changed through extensive agricultural development based on cash-crop production. This development, by way of intensification, depends on local market accessibility, transfer of technologies from Thailand and the financial capacities of local enterprises. Thai Inputs, heavy mechanisation and technical skills are imported and cropping is largely opportunistic, following Thai market demand. Land preparation, based on burning residues and ploughing on steep slopes, has allowed for cultivation of large upland areas. As a result of this development, combined with land allocation and increasing population density, fallow periods are disappearing. Furthermore, this resource-mining' generates land erosion, fertility loss, yield decline and chemical pollution as well as destruction of roads and paddy fields. In light of this, the Lao National Programme of Agroecology has implemented a holistic research approach in order to propose various systems for integrating crops and livestock production to farmers. From a large range of technologies that were tested, maize production using direct seeded grain on former crop residues under no-tillage systems has been implemented. Results achieved'under the various conditions are presented in this paper: the yields obtained are close to and sometimes even higher than those obtained in conventional systems. Labour, costs, soil erosion, net income and labour productivity are also all observed.