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Minimal acute food insecurity continues throughout the projection period

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Honduras
  • July 2013
Minimal acute food insecurity continues throughout the projection period

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through September 2013
  • Key Messages
    • The Primera harvest, beginning in August/September, will end the lean season and will allow poor households to maintain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity and continue to meet their needs. The high season for unskilled labor will begin in October improving access to income at the household level. 

    • In the east and in the south (along the dry corridor), continued below-average rainfall from previous months and July’s likely similar performance may lead to a reduced yield. 

    • Labor demand and wages are likely to decrease by at least 30 percent during the next harvest (October 2013 to March 2014) as a result of rust damage in the coffee sector. Any potential impact on reduced access to food for poor households will take place in the following consumption year.





    • Below-average rainfall to date in the east.
    • Rainfall deficits in the dry corridor are likely in July.
    • Primera production may be reduced in localized areas, mainly in the dry corridor.

    Coffee-producing areas (Livelihoods 3, 6, 7, 11, 15)

    • Coffee rust prevalence is three to four times higher than usual.
    • Production from the 2013/2014 harvest will be 35 to 40 percent less than the 2011/2012 record harvest.
    • Household income from the coffee harvest is likely to decline by at least 30 percent in 2013/2014.

    Projected Outlook through September 2013

    Current satellite images indicate below-average rainfall estimates in the east (a surplus production area) and in the south (dry corridor); accordingly water requirement images are showing soil stress levels. Despite this, informal field reports indicate crop development to be normal and no damage has been reported. Nonetheless, final yields may be reduced in this area as a result of the prolonged presence of soil stress levels. Planting of white maize, the main crop produced in the Primera season, was delayed 10 to 20 days in the east due to the irregular start of the rainy season and ended by mid-June. The harvest is expected to be on time, except in the east and the south, where it will be approximately 10 to 20 days later than usual.

    The Honduran Meteorological Service rainfall distribution in July is likely to be normal in most areas yet rainfall deficits are likely in the dry corridor. The dry spell takes place in July, yet forecasts and data so far to date confirm that it is expected to be less dry than usual. No major negative effects are anticipated. Production from the Primera season is expected to be average, despite potentially reduced yields in a normally surplus-producing area (Olancho).

    Casual labor through the agricultural season is available at medium to large scale farms. Inputs supports from the government consist only of seeds, whereas last year’s inputs included fertilizer as well, and have been delivered for beneficiaries in the west, although late. Postrera planting, whose main crop is red beans, will begin in September after the Primera harvest and is expected in December/January.

    Supplies of white maize in markets are at normal levels and prices were seasonally stable to slightly increasing between May and June. White maize prices in Tegucigalpa (in addition to other cities) still remain high, staying above last year’s prices and slightly above the five-year average. These prices are likely to continue to seasonally rise until the Primera harvest begins in September, at which point they are expected to decline until the end of the projection period, all within the normal price range. Supplies of red beans are adequate to meet demand as a result of good production levels in previous years, which have resulted in lower and stable prices than last year and even lower than the five-year average. Consequently, red beans prices are unlikely to significantly increase through the projection period and will remain accessible to consumers. Poor households may reduce white maize intake and compensate with red beans to meet their needs due to the high price of maize.

    The lean season is ongoing and food reserves have ended. Poor households are still able to meet their needs with income from casual labor and accessible prices of grains such as red beans. They also consume seasonal fruits and are migrating to industrial areas of the country. Poor households will be able to maintain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity through at least December due to improved access to own food consumption and sales with the Primera harvest in August/September, accompanied by access to income from the unskilled labor season beginning in October.

    Coffee-producing areas (Livelihood zones 3, 6, 7, 11, 15)

    The late 2012 coffee rust outbreak resulted in a national prevalence three to four times higher than usual. This will lead to an estimated decline in the 2013/2014 harvest by at least 35 to 40 percent compared to the record harvest in 2011/2012. Production is likely to fall to levels similar to the 2007/2008 harvest, prior to the high growth of the sector. This expected decline will reduce labor demand and wages by at least 30 percent for laborers and small farmers, especially in the highlands (Coffee sector shocks and projected food security impacts in Central America).

    Poor households, whose main income source is coffee, are unlikely to face acute food insecurity during this projection period. However, they could face reduced access to food in the following consumption year, when poor households will depend highly on other sources of food and income to meet their needs. National and regional programs, including the use of pesticides, financial subsidies, and job creation programs, among others, are being developed to mitigate impacts on production and households. 

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

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