What constrains impoverished rural regions: A case study of Henan Province in central China

 What constrains impoverished rural regions: A case study of Henan Province in central China
Wenhao Wu     Yuheng Li       Yansui Liu
         China has experienced rapid urbanization in recent decades. However, rural areas lag behind cities, leading to increased urban-rural economic disparities. As China’s traditional agricultural zone, the “Three Mountains and One Beach”(TMOB) area is the collective name for the four concentrated poverty areas in Henan Province, including Dabie Mountain, Funiu Mountain, Taihang Mountain and Yellow River Beach Area. In 2014, nearly 4 million people lived under China’s poverty line. Poverty is a manifestation of rural system decline and the result of uncoordinated development. This study constructed a theoretical analysis framework for regional rural poverty formation and rural development. Then, a case study was developed in the TMOB area to identify key constraints on rural development and discuss development strategies for different types of poverty-stricken rural areas. The results show that key constraints to rural development in the case area are rapid labour loss, weak urban driving force, lagging infrastructure and public services, a single industrial structure, and poor economic foundation. Four types of constraints on rural development are drawn: natural resource-constrained type, industry-constrained type, infrastructure-constrained type, and human resource-constrained type. Poverty-stricken rural areas should implement policies according to their constraint types and adopt function-oriented poverty reduction and development strategies.