Skip to main content

Seasonal reduction of agricultural labor demand lowers incomes

  • Key Message Update
  • Guatemala
  • January 2022
Seasonal reduction of agricultural labor demand lowers incomes

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • As peak demand for unskilled labor draws to a close, incomes begin to decline, and more households will experience food insecurity. In January, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected for rural households, mainly due to the continuation of high food and transportation prices. Meanwhile, the poorest households located in the Dry Corridor and areas most-affected by storms Eta and Iota are experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes as deficits have accumulated from multiple natural and economic shocks, pushing them to resort to negative coping strategies.

    • High transportation and food costs continue pressuring the purchasing power of households. According to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), the divisions within the Consumer Price Index with the highest interannual variation are food and non-alcoholic beverage spending and transportation, with 3.09 and 7.41 percent variation, respectively. Maize and bean prices continue to be above-average – by 35 and 31 percent, respectively – mainly due to the high costs of fuel and fertilizers. Compared to the five-year average, the price of regular gasoline is up 28 percent and diesel is up 27 percent.  

    • Despite the new wave of COVID-19 cases, economic activities continue to recover, but remain governed by the strictest restrictions on distancing and capacity, especially for restaurants, shops, and entertainment. According to the COVID-19 traffic-light alert system, by January 21, there was an increase in municipalities on red and orange alert. The municipalities on red alert doubled, including the capital city. The return of more restrictive measures could hinder the pace with which some activities had been developing.

    • Staple grain crops from the postrera tardía cycle in the north of the country are currently under development. Localized damage due to flooding has been reported in Quiché, Alta Verapaz, and Izabal, as well as strong winds that have affected crops in the west and in Izabal and Alta Verapaz departments. Negative impacts, however, have not been significant for national production. Harvests are expected to be average and will begin to come online by the end of February. According to the national meteorological service, the cold front season – active until March – could continue to generate precipitation and winds, particularly in northern Guatemala.

    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