Skip to main content

High staple food prices limit household purchasing power, affect food security

  • Key Message Update
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • December 2021
High staple food prices limit household purchasing power, affect food security

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In Haiti, below-average harvests for the fall agricultural season are expected following months of rainfall deficits in dry parts of the country. Households in these areas and those located in poor neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince under the influence of gangs, will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes through May 2022. However, areas affected by the earthquake in August, will be Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) at least through February 2022, due to ongoing humanitarian food assistance.

    • Fuel shortages, political unrest, insecurity, and a diplomatic incident between Haiti and the Dominican Republic disrupted transportation and markets. Strengthened border controls are likely to disrupt trade, impact income and increase pressure on households who must accommodate deported relatives. Local maize and black bean prices were stable in November, but above last year’s prices and five-year average, while imported staple foods prices continued to increase. After two months, fuel distribution resumed across the country; however, supply remains limited, due to hoarding and to reselling on the informal market.  

    • In Central America, food availability and access will continue to improve for households due to seasonal trends. Nevertheless, high prices of fuel, transportation, and food are limiting the purchasing power of poor households, resulting in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes across most of the region. Parts of the Guatemalan and Honduran Dry Corridor, as well as eastern Honduras, the Altiplano in Guatemala and areas affected by hurricanes Eta and Iota are expected to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes throughout the lean season. In Guatemala, this is due to elevated prices and lingering impacts of prior shocks, while in Honduras, smallholder farmers’ primera crop losses, and limited food stocks and income from the coffee harvest are driving these outcomes.

    • Markets were well supplied and operating normally in November. Despite a slight seasonal decline in food prices, they remain higher than last year’s prices and the five-year average. This atypically behavior is due in part to the high prices of fertilizers and fuel and general inflation. In Guatemala, additional factors were irregularities in grain imports from Mexico and recent demonstrations and roadblocks, which disrupted supply lines. In Honduras, smaller flows and lower supply at markets also suggest that the primera harvest was more affected by dry conditions than previously expected.

    • Improvements in coffee prices are offset by an anticipated decrease in overall coffee production in Honduras, limiting benefits to producers. Production in Honduras has been constrained due to weather impacts, high rates of coffee rust, and reduced labor supply of agricultural workers. Continued below-average rainfall in October and November will likely cause localized losses of postrera crops, particularly in the Dry Corridor of Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. For the postrera tardia/apante season, average rainfall and harvests are expected; however, above-average rainfall forecast in Nicaragua is likely to negatively affect bean crops.

    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