The soils in hilly and densely populated areas in the “Hautes-Terres” region of Madagascar are mainly ferrallitic and thus fragile, relatively infertile and prone to erosion. In addition, under low temperature conditions, organic matter breaks down very slowly and traps nutrients that are essential for crops. Direct seeding systems on plant cover offer a broad range of benefits, including erosion control and soil fertility enhancement. However, yield mprovements are low because farmers —focusing chiefly on their immediate survival— apply very little fertilizer. Facing these constraints, soil smouldering, associated with direct seeding on vegetal cover, should allow a sustainable improvement of the production, with minimum inputs.