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On farm experiments of direct seeding on crop residues southern Xayabury province

Tivet F., Tran Quoc H., Khamxaykhay C., Chantharath B., Julien P., Sosomphou T., Panyasiri K.. 2004. In : eds. by Bounthong Bouahom, Aiden Glen. Poverty reduction and shifting cultivation stabilization in the Uplands of Lao PDR: Technologies, approaches and methods for improving Upland livelihoods: Proceedings of a workhsop, Luang Prabang, january 27-30 2004. Vientiane : NAFRI, p. 259-278. Poverty Reduction and Shifting Cultivation Stabilization in the Uplands of Lao PDR : Technologies, Approaches and Methods for Improving Upland Livelihoods, 2004-01-27/2004-01-30, Luang Prabang (Laos, République démocratique populaire).

Since the nineties, traditional farming systems in the southern districts of Xayabury province in the Mekong corridor, have changed through extensive agricultural development based on cash crop production. This development, by way of intensification, depends on local market accessibility, technology transfer from Thailand and financial capacity of local enterprises. Thailand is the source of inputs, heavy mechanization and technical skills 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 present development combined with land allocation and increasing population density, fallow periods are disappearing. Furthermore, this 'resource-mining' development 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 Agro-ecology Programme has implemented a holistic research approach, in order to propose various systems integrating crops and livestock production to farmers. From a large range of technologies carried out, maize production based on direct seeded grain on former crop residues under no tillage systems has been evaluated. This paper presents results achieved under various conditions with yields obtained close to, and even higher than, those obtained in conventional systems. Labour, costs, soil erosion and increasing income per day are also all observed.

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