PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (7): 1086-1097.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2021.07.002

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Impact of COVID-19 on the livelihood capital of farmers in epidemic areas and its prevention: A case study of Hubei, Anhui, and Chongqing

ZHAO Xu1,2(), CHEN Yinlan1, ZHAO Feifei1   

  1. 1. School of Economics and Management, China Three Gorges University, Yichang 443002, Hubei, China
    2. China Three Gorges University Reservoir Resettlement Research Center, Yichang 443002, Hubei, China
  • Received:2021-03-24 Revised:2021-05-19 Online:2021-07-28 Published:2021-09-28
  • Supported by:
    Youth Foundation of Humanities and Social Sciences of Ministry of Education(19YJCZH264);National Ethnic Affairs Commission's Ethnic Research Project(2020-GMY-016);Yunnan University's Ethnology First-class Discipline New Coronavirus Infection Pneumonia Epidemic Social Science Investigation and Research Emergency Project(YNUXG-026)


COVID-19 epidemic has brought major risks to the livelihood development of farmers, and livelihood capital is the key to resist the impact of the epidemic and prevent the crisis of returning to poverty. The data for this study were collected in 2020, with Hubei Province, Anhui Province, and Chongqing Municipality as the research areas. This study analyzed the role of livelihood capital of 465 households in the epidemic areas to resist the risk of the epidemic. Based on the Sustainable Livelihood Analysis (SLA) framework, this study evaluated the livelihood capital of rural households after the epidemic from the multi-dimensional perspective of structure-stock. The study adopted the endogenous switching regression model, based on different risk levels and capital dimensions, to identify the core factors that hinder the restoration of rural households' livelihoods. It is expected to help formulate follow-up livelihood assistance policies for farmers, improve the emergency response system for rural emergencies, and provide a decision-making reference for the introduction of measures to prevent return to poverty due to the epidemic. The study found that: 1) The total livelihood capital of farmers in the key epidemic areas is not high. The epidemic may induce economic vulnerability, and the development of grassroots public healthcare is also very important. 2) Livelihood capital has a significant effect of resisting the risk of the epidemic. Human capital has a stronger effect, and an excessively high proportion of physical capital will weaken the ability to respond to the epidemic. 3) The distribution of rural households' livelihood capital structure and stock is uneven. Household labor, health input, wealth accumulation, living environment, social experience, and so on are the core elements. 4) The recovery of livelihoods after the epidemic mainly depends on the accumulation of human capital and financial capital. The key to helping farmers in the epidemic areas lies in emergency response and basic social security. Differentiated and normalized epidemic prevention and control measures should be formulated according to the livelihood characteristics of farmers in different regions.

Key words: rural areas, livelihood capital, epidemic risk, COVID-19, core affected areas