Skip to main content

Households affected by drought and coffee rust require assistance

  • Key Message Update
  • Guatemala
  • January 2016
Households affected by drought and coffee rust require assistance

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Two major shocks, coffee rust and drought, are currently impacting food security outcomes in much of the western and eastern dry corridor, and in areas heavily dependent on medium and small-scale coffee production. Coffee rust, which has been affecting the sector since 2012, is still leading to very low yields in some areas, particularly on smaller farms, impacting income and labor opportunities. Poorly distributed rainfall in 2014 led to poor harvests in many areas, and drought in 2015 caused by the ongoing El Niño has led to major losses in maize and bean production for many small-scale producers in the west and east.

    • In many mid-elevation areas of the Western Highlands, drought in the middle of the growing season led to total losses of 2015 staple production. Poor households who would normally be consuming own-produced maize and beans are continuing to purchase for consumption with money earned in limited agricultural and non-agricultural labor opportunities. Furthermore, some areas heavily dependent on coffee production and labor have experienced a drastic reduction in income due to coffee rust and reduced purchasing prices for coffee, and are resorting to atypical migration.

    • In parts of the Eastern Dry Corridor, Postrera harvests in surplus-producing areas and various agricultural labor opportunities are temporarily improving outcomes. However, the distribution of rainfall during the Postrera was irregular, and some communities reported total staple losses for 2015. Successive years of poor rainfall have reduced coping options, and the most affected households are purchasing small amounts of maize and beans for immediate consumption with money from very limited labor opportunities. Coffee rust has heavily impacted labor opportunities in coffee producing areas.

    • The ongoing El Niño is likely to persist into the beginning of the 2016 Primera season, with elevated risk of a delayed start to the season or irregular distribution. The most affected households throughout these areas are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) at least until the next staple harvests, between August 2016 and January 2017 depending on the area.


    Figure 1


    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