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High prices continue to hamper seasonal improvements in food security

  • Key Message Update
  • Guatemala
  • December 2021
High prices continue to hamper seasonal improvements in food security

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Despite seasonal improvements, atypical debts and high food and transportation prices will limit rural households’ recovery of livelihoods, resulting in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes through May 2022. The Dry Corridor, Altiplano, and areas most affected by storms Eta and Iota continue to be classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through May 2022, given these areas are experiencing greater deficits, accumulated through natural events and crop losses during the 2021 primera season in the Dry Corridor and during the postrera season in the east.

    • During December, rural households engaged in agricultural casual labor are in the season of peak demand for unskilled labor – both domestically and in Honduras for coffee and in Mexico for coffee and sugar – and are generating income that improves food access. Some areas have reported an increase in wage and informal payment rates linked to the rise in transportation costs and the increase in sales prices due to improvements in international prices.

    • Already for November, the total remittances in 2021 are 21 percent higher than the previous year and 48 percent higher than the five-year average. Although remittances do not reach poorer households directly, they boost the national and local economies and contribute to the generation of employment for this group.

    • Prices of white maize and black beans continue to be above the five-year average, by 26.9 and 19.3 percent, respectively, pressured by the costs transportation and agricultural inputs. Markets are supplied with domestic product from recent harvests in the north and east, as well as with stored product and imports from Mexico, although wholesalers report reduced flows of maize from Mexico. Localized losses of postrera bean crops have been reported, mainly by subsistence farmers in the lowlands. Taking into account the climate forecasts, this reduction in postrera harvests is likely to be recovered with apante harvests.

    • Through March 2022, average rainfall is expected throughout the country, with above-average rainfall in the Northern Transversal Strip. With an average start to the rains, planting for the 2022 primera season is expected to start normally. Cold fronts are expected slightly above normal, with associated strong winds, as well as low temperatures in the highlands, which could negatively affect the plantings of vegetables, roots, and tubers.

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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