Rural Household Survey and Livelihood

Comprehensive Evaluation of Farm Household Livelihood Assets in a Western Mountainous Area of China: A Case Study in Zunyi City

  • 1. College of Economics and Management, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang 330045, China;
    2. Institute of Ecological Civilization, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, Nanchang 330013, China

Received date: 2017-12-08

  Revised date: 2018-02-09

  Online published: 2018-03-30

Supported by

Funding Project for Academic and Technical Leaders in Major Disciplines of Jiangxi Province (20172BCB22011); Science and Technology Landing Project for Universities in Jiangxi Province (KJLD14033); Major Bidding Project for Economic and Social Development in Jiangxi Province (17ZD03); Science and technology Project of Jiangxi Education Department(GJJ160431)


As the foundation of farm household structure, livelihood asset status is the basis for farmers to gain opportunities, adopt livelihood strategies, resist livelihood risk, and engage in positive livelihood achievements. Quantifying farm household assets identifies future development trends that are fundamentally necessary to predict farm household vulnerability and strategy, as well as understanding farmers’ current living situations. Using Zunyi City in China’s western mountainous area as a case study, we conducted stratified sampling and participatory rural investigation appraisal to collect data on the attributes of farm households’ livelihood assets and livelihood strategies to establish an index evaluation system and enable evaluation and analysis of farm households with different livelihood strategies. Our research indicates that due to structural differences, total livelihood assets of farm households with different livelihood strategies are similar. Rural households have an abundance of natural and material assets and deficiencies in human, financial and social assets. Non-rural households and part- time households are abundant in human, financial and social assets and deficient in natural and material assets.

Cite this article

LIU Zhifei, CHEN Qianru, XIE Hualin . Comprehensive Evaluation of Farm Household Livelihood Assets in a Western Mountainous Area of China: A Case Study in Zunyi City[J]. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 2018 , 9(2) : 154 -163 . DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.02.005


[1] Alfredo C F, Eliane B, Cassio M V, et al.2017. The demise of swidden- fallow agriculture in an Atlantic Rainforest region: Implications for farmers’ livelihood and conservation. Land Use Policy, 69: 417-426.
[2] Barry P.2017. Chapter 3 - Farming-Related Livelihoods. Agricultural Systems (Second Edition): Agroecology and Rural Innovation for Development, 73-91
[3] Cai Z H.2010. Analysis on farmer households’ livelihood assets in impoverished villages located in Wenchuan earthquake-stricken area. Chinese Rural Economy, 12: 55-67. (in Chinese)
[4] David B, Marc C, Leonard R, et al.Thinking beyond agronomic yield gap: Smallholder farm efficiency under contrasted livelihood strategies in Malawi. Field Crops Research, 214: 113-122.
[5] Eleanor F, Ramlatu A, Valentina B, et al.2017. The livelihood impacts of cash transfers in Sub-Saharan Africa: Beneficiary perspectives from six countries. World Development, 99: 299-319.
[6] Jiao X, Mariève P S, Zena Wa.2017. Livelihood Strategies and Dynamics in Rural Cambodia. World Development, 97: 266-278.
[7] Kenneth P.2015. Sustainability of cocoa farmers’ livelihoods: A case study of Asunafo District, Ghana. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 4: 2-15.
[8] Kong X Z, Zhong Z, Yuan M S.2008. Analysis of the impact rural tourism on farmer households’ livelihood—A case study in three scenic spots in Shanxi Province. On Economic Problems, 01: 115-119. (in Chinese)
[9] Li J, Li Y L, Tai X Jet al.2009. Analysis on farmer households’ livelihood status in retired mountainous area located in impoverished western part of China under the framework of analysis on continuous livelihood. China Rural Survey, 05: 29-38+96. (in Chinese)
[10] Li L Y, Li X Y.2007. Analysis on farmer households’ livelihood assets from the perspective of development study. Rural Economy, 10: 100-104. (in Chinese)
[11] Li M P, Huo X X, Peng C H, et al.2017. Complementary livelihood capital as a means to enhance adaptive capacity: A case of the Loess Plateau, China. Global Environmental Change, 47: 143-152.
[12] Li X Y, Dong Q, Rao X L, et al.2007. Methods of assessing vulnerability of farmers and local use. Chinese Rural Economy, 04: 32-39. (in Chinese)
[13] Mathewos M, Nigatu R G.2016. Livelihood diversification under severe food insecurity scenario among smallholder farmers in Kadida Gamela District, Southern Ethiopia. Kontakt, 18(4): 258-264.
[14] Sharp K.2003. Measuring destitution: integrating qualitative and quantitative approaches in the analysis of survey data. IDS Working Paper 217.
[15] Solomon Z W, Jiao X.2017. Dynamics of rural livelihoods and environmental reliance: Empirical evidence from Nepal. Forest Policy and Economics, 83: 199-209.
[16] Tian Q, Maria C L.2017. Household livelihood differentiation and vulnerability to climate hazards in rural China. World Development. DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.10.019.
[17] Wang C C, Zhang Y Q, Yang Y S, et al.2016. Assessment of sustainable livelihoods of different farmers in hilly red soil erosion areas of southern China. Ecological Indicators, 64: 123-131.
[18] Wang D L, Wan K D, Song X F.2018. Coal miners’ livelihood vulnerability to economic shock: Multi-criteria assessment and policy implications. Energy Policy, 114: 301-314.
[19] Wu Z L, Li B, Hou Y.2017. Adaptive choice of livelihood patterns in rural households in a farm-pastoral zone: A case study in Jungar, Inner Mongolia. Land Use Policy, 62: 361-375.
[20] Xie D M.2009. Application and Validation on Quantitative Analysis Method of Livelihood Assets of Rural Households. Technology Economics, 28(9): 43-49. (in Chinese)
[21] Xie H L, He Y F, Xie X.2017. Exploring the factors influencing ecological land change for China's Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region using big data. Journal of Cleaner Production. 142: 677-687
[22] Xie H L, Lu H.2017. Impact of land fragmentation and non-agricultural labor supply on circulation of agricultural land management rights. Land Use Policy, 68: 355-364.
[23] Xie X, Xie H L, Shu C.2017, Estimation of ecological compensation standards for fallow heavy metal-polluted farmland in China based on farmer willingness to accept. Sustainability, 9(10), 1859
[24] Yang Y Y, Zhao F.2009. Survey and analysis of farmer households’ livelihood assets under the framework of continuous livelihood analysis: A case study in the reservoir region of South-to-North Water Diversion Project (middle route). Issues in Agricultural Economy, 03: 58-65+111. (in Chinese)
[25] Zhao X Y.2011. The impact of livelihood capital on the life satisfaction of agro-pastoralist——A case study in Gannan Plateau. Geographical Research. 30(04): 687-698.