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Crop losses due to erratic rainfall will result in an early start of the lean season.

  • Key Message Update
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • February 2019
Crop losses due to erratic rainfall will result in an early start of the lean season.

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Forecasted El Niño conditions could lead to rainfall irregularities during the March-April season, impacting the start of the Primera harvest and below-average rainfall in certain areas of Honduras and Nicaragua for the Apante season. In Haiti, rainfall conditions were sufficient for the crops except in drought affected areas, in Nord and Nord-Est. 

    • Losses in the dry corridor caused by the drought during the Primera harvest and the damages in the Postrera production due to excess of rainfall did not allow subsistence farmers’ households to ensure food stocks, resulting in an early start of lean season (March instead of May). Some poor households have depended on the market since September for the purchase of their staple foods.

    • In Central America, the main sources of temporary labor are expected to be normal during November – March, those sources are the production of tropical fruit, sugarcane, shrimp and mainly coffee harvest. In Haiti, local demand for agricultural labor is low, however, other sources of income such as temporary migration to the Dominican Republic, charcoal sales, petty trading, are available alternatives for poorest households.

    • In Central America, maize and bean market supplies are near average, supported by the Postrera harvest, stocks, and imports. Maize prices were above-average and stable in December while bean prices were below average to average. In Nicaragua, political tension continued to affect markets, pressuring maize prices. In Haiti, local maize prices increased while local black bean prices fell and imported rice prices were stable but above average.

    • The poorest households in the Dry corridor who lost their crops during the prolonged seasonal dry spell, whose main income comes from coffee, are in Stress (IPC, Phase 2). Households that have exhausted their food stocks and apply coping strategies are facing Crisis (IPC, Phase 3) outcomes. In Haiti, most regions are in Stress (IPC phase 2), while some areas affected by the drought are in Crisis (IPC phase 3).

    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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