Food Security Outlook Update

Maize and bean crops growing as normal in humid mountain areas

September 2018

September 2018

L'ensemble du pays se trouve en phases 1 et 2 de l'IPC.

October 2018 - January 2019

L'ensemble du pays se trouve en phases 1 et 2 de l'IPC.

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
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.

 

 

ABOUT THIS UPDATE

FEWS NET Food Security Outlook Updates in September 2018 have an extended outlook beyond the standard projection period. The end of this report includes a discussion of most-likely outcomes through the end of the next lean season for this country. Reporting for this country may follow a non-standard schedule in the coming months. Check back regularly for new analysis, subscribe for report updates, or follow us on social media.

Key Messages

  • After a delay of approximately two months, more or less significant cumulative rainfall was recorded in August and the first dekad of September. Land preparation and sowing activities, which have well begun in humid mountain areas in July, are now under way in other regions. 

  • Rainfall has contributed to the development of maize and bean crops planted in July and August, most of which are at the heading, fruiting or flowering stage. Pigeon peas, millet, root vegetables and tubers are in the growing stage (except in the North, North-east and West). In lower Artibonite, rice harvests have started and will continue until December.

  • Compared to July, the price of local maize fell by 6 percent in August. The price of black beans fell less significantly (2.4 percent), while the price of imported rice and TCS-10 rice continues to increase. The prices of these products are significantly above their 5-year average.

  • From October 2018 to January 2019, some livelihood areas will remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and others in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity. However, some drought-affected households in the Nord and Nord-Est may be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) if they are not able to fully recover from previous shocks. It appears unlikely that there will be enough households in Crisis to change area classifications.

CURRENT SITUATION

 

Weather conditions: Rainfall conditions were relatively favorable in August. The highest level of rainfall was observed in the cross-section of the country, while the southwestern region had very little. There are also anomalies in the Nord-Ouest, high Artibonite, and Ouest regions as well as in part of the Nord and Nord-Est. Summer seed planting, which started successfully in humid mountain areas (Nippes, Sud, Sud-Est, etc.), is also under way in other regions (Plateau Central, lower Nord-Ouest, Côte Sud, etc.), where the arrival of the rains facilitated land preparation activities. Rainfall is still below average.

Agricultural conditions: The summer/fall 2018 growing season started well in humid mountain areas and crops are growing normally. In areas where the growing season was delayed, such as semi-humid mountains, land preparation and sowing activities have begun. Pigeon peas, millet, root vegetables and tubers are growing (except in the Nord, Nord-Est and Ouest). Good harvests are anticipated between November and February. In rice-growing areas, harvests began in September and will continue until December. At the same time, market garden nurseries (onions, tomatoes, etc.) are being prepared for harvests scheduled for March 2019.

In Sud department, crops (including beans) are in the vegetative phase. After the drought in June, rainfall in August and September stimulated normal development of crops planted in the summer and prompted sowing preparations in areas where the rains were delayed (Tiburon in particular). Maize crops planted in July reached the flowering phase, while crops planted in August were developing as normal. In areas with delayed rainfall, sowing operations have only just begun. In addition, there have been significant root vegetable, tuber and banana harvests which supply markets in the area.

Food availability: Once again, bananas, root vegetables and tubers have provided normal harvests, particularly in Grande-Anse, Sud and Sud-Est regions and are available on these regional markets. However, due to spring losses and lack of stock, the availability of maize is decreasing, especially in the Artibonite and Centre regions. The availability of beans is relatively stable, due to the reported harvests in some regions. Markets are generally well stocked, especially with imported products.

Food prices: The price of local maize fell on average by less than 6 percent in August, compared to July.  The local black bean trend remained the same for July, but decreased less sharply, to 2.4 percent below the monthly average.

The price of imported rice continues to maintain its upward trend which began last year.

Agricultural labor: The demand for agricultural workers for the spring harvests was below normal due to the low performance recorded for this growing season and it barely returned to normal for the summer season activities, were already delayed in most regions.

Urban and international migration has maintained the same trend as recent years, particularly for migration towards the Dominican Republic which is driven by more favorable employment opportunities and conditions. The drought experienced between May and July only exacerbated this phenomenon.

UPDATED ASSUMPTIONS

As recent developments in the food security situation largely reflect the assumptions presented in the June 2018 to January 2019 outlook, this update maintains these assumptions.

PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH JANUARY 2019

From October to January, the summer/fall harvests coincide with the beginning of the winter growing season in irrigated plains and a modest increase in local availability is anticipated. The predominance of imported products in the markets will ensure stable availability. However, access to these products may be limited as their prices are significantly above the 5-year average. Nevertheless, in areas close to the border, where there is a high consumption of broken rice amongst the poorest people due to its availability, income generated by the sale of labor, especially in the Dominican Republic, as well as other activities such as small-scale trade, livestock sales and migrant remittances should enable poor households to access staple foods. Consequently, part of the country (Artibonite, Grande-Anse, Bas Plateau, etc.) could be in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) and the rest of the country in Stressed (IPC Phase 2).

PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH NEXT LEAN SEASON (MAY 2019)

 

Background

Weather forecasts indicate the persistence of the El Niño phenomenon until the March-May quarter, which could lead to a delayed or even irregular start to the rainy season in 2019.

The uncertainty fueled by tensions within the PetroCaribe alliance weakens socio-political stability and increases the risk of riots, which could jeopardize the normal functioning of food markets.

Between February and May 2019, market supply should be normal for imported products, but the availability of local products may be reduced, especially from March 2019 onwards.

However, the demand for agricultural labor will increase with the beginning of the spring 2019 growing season. In addition, in border areas, much of the labor force will continue to be absorbed by the Dominican Republic.

Outlook

The 2019 lean season is expected to start in March instead of April.

Most regions could continue in Stressed (IPC Phases 2). However, if households in drought-affected areas do not fully recover from previous shocks, some may be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

About this Update

This monthly report covers current conditions as well as changes to the projected outlook for food insecurity in this country. It updates FEWS NET’s quarterly Food Security Outlook. 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 34 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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