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Food insecurity likely Minimal in 2013

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Honduras
  • November 2012
Food insecurity likely Minimal in 2013

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through March 2013
  • Key Messages
    • In general, Postrera rainfall was significantly better than initially expected nationwide. Near-average national Postrera (mainly red bean) harvests are expected.

    • Poor rainfall was concentrated in surplus-production areas of Olancho and Colón, where the Postrera harvest will be below average. 

    • Acute food insecurity is likely to remain in phase 1: Minimal (IPC 2.0) levels through at least March 2013. The lean season will begin normally in April. 

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    National

    • Postrera rainfall was average to slightly above average for most of the country except surplus production areas of Olancho and Colón.
    • No significant anomalies of concern anticipated.

    South (Choluteca,  Valle)

    • Planted area is less than 2011 due to poor Primera harvests.
    • No significant anomalies of concern anticipated.

    Western coffee-producing areas

    • Coffee rust prevalence is three to four times higher than average.
    • Labor demand will likely be above average due to treatment for coffee rust (January – March).

    Central Olancho and northern coast

    • Postrera rainfall was significantly below average, field reports and water requirements modeling indicate below-average crop development.
    • Crop yields are likely to be below average.

    Projected Outlook through March 2013

    The Postrera rains ended normally in late October/early November across the country. Postrera rainfall distribution and cumulative rainfall totals were better than had been anticipated at the start of season, ending up average to slightly above average for most of the country. Water requirement modeling also indicates better crop development than the initial analogue year 2009. However, below-average rainfall and crop development in surplus-producing areas of central and northern Honduras, particularly Olancho, maintain near-average expectations for the national Postrera harvest. Input support and planted areas, though lower than 2010 and 2011, are still generally above the five-year average. Therefore, FEWS NET assumes that the national Postrera harvest is likely to be near the five-year average.

    The demand for unskilled labor is expected to be average to above average due to the near-average harvests in labor demand crops. Though the price of coffee has fallen significantly since last year (about 30-35 percent), there are signs of price stabilization, and price levels remain high compared to levels prior to 2010.

    Red bean and white maize prices in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula decreased seasonally from September to October and are below last year’s prices. Retail red bean prices are significantly below average (20-40 percent). White maize prices are no more than 15 percent above the five-year average, which is relatively low. Markets are being supplied by Primera production. Prices are expected to follow normal seasonal trends. That is, they are likely to decline or be stable until March 2013 and to rise in April.

    Acute food insecurity in Honduras is likely to remain in Phase 1: Minimal (IPC 2.0) throughout the projection period (through March 2013). The lean season will begin normally in April.

    South (Livelihoods 5, 8)

    Postrera rainfall totals in the South were up to 25 percent above average and relatively well distributed. This is much better than the below-average rainfall anticipated at the beginning of the season. Though the area planted to Postrera crops was below last year due to poor performance of the April-July/August Primera season, the net effect is that the Postrera harvest is likely to be near the five-year average. 

    Poor-household food consumption depends on the Postrera harvest between December and March and on purchases between April until the Primera harvest in August. A near-average production and above-average income is likely to lead to a normal start of the lean season instead of an early start as initially expected, maintaining their acute food insecurity in a Minimal level (Phase 1, IPC 2.0) throughout the projection period until March 2013.

    Western coffee-producing areas

    Coffee rust prevalence is three to four times higher than the usual and manageable prevalence (10 percent). Spread of the disease usually occurs between February and May and affects production the following year. As such, the current harvest is unlikely to be significantly affected. There is plenty of time for treatment to prevent significant spread of the disease, and no significant damage is expected for future harvests at this time. In addition, FEWS NET estimates that current coffee prices are sufficiently high to support the cost of treatment. The most affected Departments are Ocotepeque, Copán, Intibuca, Lempira, La Paz, and Comayagua.

    Central Olancho and Colón

    Rainfall during Postrera season was 25 – 50 percent below average, resulting in poor crop development in these surplus-producing areas. Though some rain may continue to fall in November, the damage to date is permanent. The Olancho/Colón Postrera harvest is likely to be below the five-year average. Despite these losses, it is unlikely that 20 percent of the population will be acutely food insecure in this area given that poor households have year-round access to labor opportunities in this area, enabling them to expand the search for labor. 

    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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