Since the mid-2000s, land-use in Kham basin and Nonghet hillsides has come to be dominated by hybrid maize mono-cropping. The rapid expansion of this commercial crop has a tremendous impact on both the local economy and the environment. Maize has not only replaced existing gardens, chilli and fruit tree plantations but it has also expanded at the expense of forests and former fallow land. With the transition towards intensive commercial agriculture, agricultural productivity has increased considerably while rural poverty has receded. Yet, a growing number of farmers are now confronted with land degradation issues (e.g. soil erosion, lowland siltation, weed pressure and chemical pollution), excessive production costs and indebtedness. In this context, the activities promoted by PRONAE have focused on accompanying the ‘maize boom’ and, in particular, mitigating its potentially negative impacts by developing DMC-based maize cropping systems.