Recent changes in the rural environment in China.
The great changes in Chinese agriculture during the past 10 years have been accompanied by significant deterioration of the rural environment. Among the most important environmental effects are soil erosion, destruction of forest and grassland vegetation, degradation of land quality and soil fertility, pollution by urban-industrial wastes and agricultural chemicals, and the depletion of water resources. Population growth, low incomes and the expense of modern technology have made these problems worse. A new strategy of rural development, ecological agriculture, has been suggested as an alternative to the conventional methods of developing agriculture. The concept, components and current measures of ecological agriculture are introduced and the preliminary results discussed.