Remote Monitoring Report

Poor households meet their needs more easily than last year due to favorable market conditions

June 2013

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • The lean season is underway through August and poor households are meeting their needs with less difficulty than last year. These households are expected to have food access when the Primera harvest begins in August/September, maintaining the Minimal (Phase 1, IPC 2.0) acute food insecurity through the end of the projection period, September 2013. 

  • The central and eastern areas indicate soil stress levels due to an irregular start of the rainy season and below average rainfall so far into the season. This, along with forecast localized rainfall deficits in July and the anticipated moderate to severe dry spell (late July/August), may reduce crop developments and final yields, mainly in the dry corridor. 

  • Coffee rust prevalence will reduce the 2013/2014 harvest, labor demand and wages by at least 30 to 40 percent.

ZONE

CURRENT ANOMALIES

PROJECTED ANOMALIES

National

  • Irregular onset of the rainy season
  • Localized rainfall deficits in July
  • Moderate to severe dry spell between July and August (11 days)
  • Primera production yields may be reduced in localized areas, mainly the dry corridor.

Livelihood Zone 2: Coffee, Agro-industry, and unskilled labor

 

  • Coffee rust prevalence is three to four times higher than usual.
  • 2013/2014 coffee harvest and related labor demand is likely to be 30 to 40 percent below 2011/12 levels unaffected by rust. Consequently, household-level income will decline by at least 30 percent.

Projected Outlook through September 2013

The Primera season planting is underway since late May and will likely end by Mid-June in east pacific coastal areas. Due to an irregular start of the rainy season some farmers have prolonged planting to early June instead of late May as usual, yet crops across the country will reach their vegetative growth throughout June. The harvest will begin in August/September. Input support consisting of seeds and fertilizers to small farmers provided by the Ministry of Agriculture was delivered on time for Primera planting. Initial estimates of this year’s production may be close to last year’s above-average production due to a 19 percent increase in inputs. Poor households relying on own production and purchases as their main food sources depend highly on the Primera and Postrera production. Small farmers and those laborers who do not plant are able to obtain casual labor for main agricultural practices involving staple grains crops at nearby medium to large farms.

Even though the rainy season has been established, rainfall has been irregular and according to satellite images, it has been below normal in most areas of the country. Heavy rainfall in late May improved soil humidity, according to Agro-meteorological monitoring. The water requirement images show humidity levels to be adequate in the country except in central and east areas, parts of the dry corridor, which still indicate that soil levels are stressed. The rainfall forecast by the Meteorological Service indicates that rainfall distribution is likely to be close to normal in June and August but deficits may occur in July, mainly in the eastern and pacific coastal areas. A moderate to severe dry spell of at least 11 days is likely (late July/August). This deficit and dry spell along with potentially prolonged current soil stress levels in June could negatively impact crop development and final yields, mainly in drier areas such as the dry corridor. Close monitoring of rainfall and crop development is needed in the upcoming months to determine impacts on poor household’s food access.

Staple food prices were unusually stable between March and April when typically there is a seasonal rise, particularly for white maize and red beans. This was due to farmers releasing white maize stocks from the 2012 harvests into the market as the Primera planting season began, along with an unusually high supply of red beans from this year’s increased domestic production rather than imports from Nicaragua. Red beans and white maize retail prices are below last year’s prices and the five-year average (about 25 and 41-48 percent lower, respectively). Prices are likely to seasonally rise through August and decrease after the start of the Primera harvest. A potential rise is unlikely to be significantly and will remain below the trend. Therefore white maize and red beans prices are likely to remain accessible through the projection period.

The lean season in underway through August. Poor households are meeting their needs with less difficulty than last year due to the good production levels in 2012, low and accessible consumer food prices, and average income from casual labor. Current food reserves are likely to last until June/July and increased food access from the Primera harvest will begin in August/September, maintaining Minimal (Phase 1, IPC 2.0) acute food insecurity through the end of the projection period, September 2013.

Livelihood Zone 2: Coffee, Agro-industry, and unskilled labor

In late 2012, an unusually high prevalence of coffee rust, three to four times higher, has resulted in an expected decline in the harvest 2013/2014 by at least 30 to 40 percent compared to the five-year average. This outbreak is expected to reduce labor demand and wages, particularly for small farmers in the highlands, by at least 30 percent compared to 2011/2012 (see the Coffee sector shocks and projected food security impacts in Central America for more information). Initial estimates suggest this harvest will yield the lowest production in 33 years. The Agriculture Ministry is providing input and technical support through a national program to farmers. Close monitoring and preventive practices are needed to avoid further damages to coffee plantations.

Despite the anticipated decline in labor demand and wages, it is unlikely to see acute food insecurity through the projection period as poor households are meeting their needs normally. Some 10,000 poor households who face reduced income from the current harvest (October 2012 to March 2013) will receive food supplies from WFP to complement their diet and maintain adequate nutrition levels though the lean season (June to August). Impacts on food access may occur afterwards as the 2013/2014 harvest season begins (October 2013 – March 2014), at which time they will rely more on other income sources to meet their needs (such as own production and wood sales).

About Remote Monitoring

In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 28 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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