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An increase in rainfall is likely to benefit Postrera crops

  • Key Message Update
  • Guatemala
  • September 2016
An increase in rainfall is likely to benefit Postrera crops

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Primera season harvests are reaching their peak, with up to a 15-day delay in some areas. The delayed harvest has had implications for staple prices, which began their seasonal decline later than normal. The Primera harvests will improve national market supply, as well as availability of food reserves in producer households.

    • Due to a late start of the rains, irregular distribution in the beginning of the season, and high temperatures, losses of up to 50 percent are reported in lower elevation areas of the Dry Corridor (Huehuetenango, Totonicapán, Quiché, Zacapa, Chiquimula, and El Progreso). Furthermore, localized damages are reported due to strong rainfall this month, particularly in areas near rivers and prone to flooding. These factors will reduce the duration of food reserves among affected households to no more than two months.

    • Average Postrera harvests are expected, due to forecasts for near-average cumulative rainfall in the center of the country during the season. This will allow for producing households to establish bean reserves for 3-4 months, and will also provide a source of income with the sale of a fraction of their production. However, there remains a risk of damages due to an elevated likelihood for strong rainfall events during the latter stages of the season, due to cold conditions in the eastern equatorial Pacific.

    • In the Temperate Western Highlands, very poor households will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) until October, when the period of high demand for labor will begin. It is estimated that these households will improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) at this time, but only until February/March, when a renewed deterioration in food security outcomes is expected to begin. This is due to the anticipated early depletion of household reserves from the annual harvest (which will be collected late this year in December/January) after the damages suffered during the first half of the season, as well as the seasonal reduction in labor opportunities in February/March.

    • In the Eastern region, subsistence households are Stressed (IPC Phase 2) due to an improvement in household food availability after the Primera harvests, despite considerable damage to crops in low-elevation areas. An average Postrera harvest in November/December and the start of the period of high labor demand in October will increase incomes and bean reserves. In February, some of these households will begin to fall back into Crisis (IPC Phase 3), primarily due to the deterioration of normal livelihoods over successive years of dryness and poor production.

    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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