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Near-average demand for agricultural labor

  • Key Message Update
  • Guatemala
  • January 2018
Near-average demand for agricultural labor

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Food access has improved seasonally for the poorest households, as near-average income-earning opportunities during the period of high demand for casual labor beginning around October 2017 in most areas in sectors such as coffee, sugar cane, fruits, and vegetables has facilitated market purchases of basic foods and basic non-food needs, such as school fees. An improvement in income-earning opportunities has also facilitated the payment of debts acquired in recent years of poor staple production and limited options for income generation.

    • Maize prices remained well-below average in December 2017, while prices for black beans are near-average after a period of above-average prices between October 2016 and July 2017. Prices for black beans declined compared to the previous month due to average Postrera harvests arriving in markets. 

    • Seasonal forecasts indicate a likelihood for average to above-average cumulative rainfall in Petén, the Northern Transversal Strip, and parts of Izabal through March 2018, which is likely to support average results for the main northern harvest in February/March in these surplus-producing areas. Maize prices are expected to increase slightly prior to the northern harvest, and will reach a seasonal peak in July prior to Primera season harvests. Meanwhile, black beans prices are likely to continue to decline until April, after which an upward trend will resume.

    • Most households throughout the country are currently estimated to be facing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity, at least until the beginning of the lean season in March/April, due to average staple harvests and improved purchasing power. However, households affected by recurrent shocks between 2012 and 2016, primarily related to drought, extended periods of dryness, and the impact of coffee rust, have yet to recover their livelihoods and resilience, and are likely to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) throughout the outlook period.

    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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