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With the lean season underway, acute food insecurity will remain Minimal

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Nicaragua
  • April 2013
With the lean season underway, acute food insecurity will remain Minimal

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through September 2013
  • Key Messages
    • The lean season is underway and will continue through August. Poor households are meeting their needs and will continue to have food access from own production from the Primera season (through late August/September), therefore remaining in Minimal acute food insecurity (Phase 1, IPC 2.0) through the end of the projection period, September 2013.

    • The Primera harvest yield is likely to be average as forecasts indicate normal rainfall through July. No major effects to crops are anticipated despite the upcoming canícula. The seasonal forecast indicates this period will be less dry than usual and unlikely to impact Primera production. Localized below-average rainfall may impact final production yields in the dry corridor. Close monitoring is needed.

    • Coffee rust prevalence will reduce harvest and labor demand and wages by at least 30 percent in the next harvest (October 2013 – March 2014).





    • Rainfall deficits in June and a dry spell between July and August, although likely to be less dry than usual.
    • Primera production yield may be reduced in localized areas.

    Coffee-producing areas (Livelihood 12 and 13)

    • Coffee rust prevalence is two to three times higher than usual.


    • Coffee harvest will be reduced by 30 percent during the next harvest (2013/2014).
    • Household-level income from coffee harvesting will decline by 30 percent.

    Projected Outlook through September 2013

    The Primera planting season will be in late May/June and the harvest is expected to be late in August/September. This season nationally produces 60 percent of white maize, 30 percent of red beans, and 20 percent of black beans produced annually. Planting among farmers is expected to be normal. Primera and Postrera seasons are highly important for poor households, for their own production from these harvests, in addition to purchases constituting their major food sources throughout the year. The rainfall forecast suggests a normal start of the rainy season with a likely normal distribution of rainfall from May to July. A dry spell is likely from mid July to mid August. Therefore, major negative effects to white maize and red beans crops are not anticipated. Localized low rainfall in the dry corridor area is likely and may impact final production yields. Close monitoring of rainfall and crop development in the upcoming months is needed to further determine the impact on poor household’s food access.

    Retail basic grain prices followed normal seasonal trends between February and March, and prices are expected to seasonally rise through August and slowly begin to decrease in September as the Primera harvest reaches markets. Market supplies of red beans remain high given the good production during the Apante season. Prices continue to remain below or near to last year’s prices and the five-year average. White maize prices are above last’s year and the five-year average (anywhere from 10 to 40 percent above) due to low supply. These prices are likely to remain high during the seasonal price peak. Poor households are likely to reduce white maize consumption until the Primera harvest and increase the proportion of consumption of other grains such as red beans and rice, where prices have been stable and similar to last year.  

    Acute food insecurity will remain Minimal (Phase 1 IPC 2.0) through the projection period, September 2013, even with the lean season underway through August. Poor households are meeting their needs during the lean season due to average income, average to near-average production levels from the Postrera and Apante harvest, and accessible food prices. Therefore, they will have access to own food from the Primera harvest (late August/September) at least through the end of the projection period, even if the production yield is reduced.

    Coffee-producing areas of Matagalpa, Jinotega, Madriz, Nueva Segovia and Estelí (Livelihood zones 12 and 13)

    Coffee rust prevalence has maintained two to three times higher than usual since late 2012, affecting the coffee sector in the following ways:

    • The harvest will be reduced in 2013/2014 by at least 30 percent; additionally producers are likely to face poor production levels in 2013/2014.
    • Labor demand and wages are likely to be reduced in the 2013/2014 harvest season by at least by 30 percent compared to 2011/2012.
    • Small farmers with few guarantees and those in highlands, where income options are less diverse and the major source of income comes from coffee harvest and labor, are at risk of food insecurity due to this shock.

    These impacts are unlikely to result in a widespread of acute food insecurity through the projection period, September 2013, as households will be meeting their needs as they normally do during the lean season. They will have food access from the Primera harvest starting in August/September, and will maintain Minimal acute food insecurity (Phase 1, IPC 2.0) throughout the scenario period. Nonetheless, reduced income for households due to coffee rust will make the dependence on own production greater after the projection period and through the following consumption year (see Coffee sector shocks and projected food security impacts in Central America). Authorities have initiated training to farmers to minimize further impact. A regional program has been planned to improve the agronomic practices, sanitary control, awareness campaigns and training, and support to affected farmers. 

    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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