Skip to main content

High inflation and lower yields during the primera season will increase food insecurity

  • Key Message Update
  • El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua
  • March 2023
High inflation and lower yields during the primera season will increase food insecurity

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • March marks an early start to the lean season for producer households in areas negatively affected by heavy rainfall in 2022. Stocks of staple grains are already low, and markets will see a progressive and seasonal increase in prices until the end of August, when the harvest for the primera season is released. This year, household purchasing power will be further reduced due to the continuation of high prices and previous shocks. Therefore, most households are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) until September 2023, when the situation will improve with the primera harvest. Nevertheless, areas of the Honduran and Salvadoran Dry Corridor will experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes during the peak of the lean season.

    • An average harvest during the apante/postrera tardía cycle in parts of Honduras and Nicaragua allowed for the normal flow of red beans to domestic and regional markets. However, only Nicaragua reported stability in bean prices in February, compared to January. El Salvador and Honduras showed increases of 8.7 and 9.5 percent, respectively. When compared to February 2022, the three countries reported significant increases of 68.5, 40.2, and 49.1 percent in El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, respectively, with variations compared to the five-year average even larger. In the case of white maize prices, they remained stable in February, for the second consecutive month, as the market is supplied by the reserves of the 2022 harvests. However, variations with respect to the previous year and the five-year average continue to be atypically high for the same reasons as in previous months, although lower than those reported for red beans.

    • For February, headline inflation continued to show year-on-year variations similar to those of the last three months, while food inflation reported double-digit values, given the continuity of driving factors in the last few months. The pressure exerted on the purchasing power of poor households will become more acute as of March due to the seasonal reduction in rural employment options, while urban households will have stable but low incomes, especially those dependent on informal jobs. For households dependent on tourism, their incomes are expected to seasonally increase with the Easter holiday and, subsequently, continue to gradually recover.

    • Current weather forecasts indicate an irregular start to the rainy season and, therefore, to the primera agricultural cycle. As the season progresses, rainfall accumulations will tend to gradually fall below average, especially in the Dry Corridor. This will mean a water deficit for crops, particularly subsistence crops. This situation is added to the likely reduction in cropped area due to high prices of agricultural inputs. In addition, labor demand – albeit sporadic during these months – is expected to be below average.

    Recommended Citation: FEWS NET. El Salvador, Honduras y Nicaragua Key Message Update March 2023: High inflation and lower yields during the primera season will increase food insecurity, 2023.

    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.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top