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Extended dry spells are affecting agricultural production throughout the region

  • Key Message Update
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • August 2018
Extended dry spells are affecting agricultural production throughout the region

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • After a good start of the 2018 rainy season in April, a reduction in the quantity and distribution of rains has been observed and is likely to impact basic grains crops in the region. Specific areas in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras have reported more than 25 days without rain, yields reduction and crop losses, particularly affecting subsistence farmers. 

    • According to the last COF (Climate outlook forecast for Central America), below average precipitation is forecasted for El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. Precipitations are expected to be average in Guatemala, but an early end and irregular rains during the Postrera campaign could impact the harvest of the basic grains, especially for subsistence farmers. 

    • Ongoing crops are showing signs of stress and wilting in focused areas of Central America, potentially affecting food security of vulnerable households. In Haiti, the June drought disrupted the development of Spring crops. Nevertheless, the sources of income for the poorest are stable: agricultural labor in the Dominican Republic, remittances and charcoal production, among others.

    • In Central America, maize prices increased between May and June while dry bean price showed varying trends. Maize prices remain above their 2017 and five years average, due to an increase in fertilizer usage and in fuel prices, putting pressure on production costs. In Haiti, maize and black bean prices were stable or decreasing as the Spring harvest progressed, while imported rice prices have increased. 

    • International coffee prices have started a slight recovery, after reaching in June the lowest price since December 2013. This could impact the coffee sector within the region during the upcoming harvest time (October 2018-March 2019) reducing labor and salary for households that depend on coffee for their livelihood. 

    • Throughout the region, households are likely to remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1), except for the poorest households of subsistence farmers who have faced livelihood’s deterioration induced by crop losses and low income. These households, especially those located in the dry corridor, will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2). In Haiti most livelihood zones will continue in Stressed (IPC Phase2) and Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity. 

    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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