Skip to main content

Food insecurity likely Minimal in 2012/13

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Nicaragua
  • October 2012
Food insecurity likely Minimal in 2012/13

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through March 2013
  • Key Messages
    • Below-average rainfall expected in the West of the country. However, above-average technical assistance and inputs from the government will mitigate potential losses to the Postrera harvest. 

    • As a result, national Postrera harvests will likely be near average; Postrera harvests in western Nicaragua are likely to be at least 80 percent of average or better.

    • The peak labor demand (October to March) will provide households enough income to meet their food needs, resulting in Phase 1: Minimal food insecurity (IPC 2.0) through at least March 2013.

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    National

    • The Postrera area planted in Sep/Oct is above average.
    • August-September rainfall has been slightly below average, though regular, nationwide, particularly along the southern Pacific coast.  Rainfall to-date has been better than in the 2006 and 2009 analogue rainfall years.
    • Forecasts suggest slightly below-average rainfall and an early cessation of the Postrera rains two weeks early in mid-October. This is an improvement from previous rainfall forecasts referencing 2006 and 2009 as analogue years.

    Dry Corridor –Livelihood zones 3, 4

    • Field reports and water requirement modeling (Figure 2) indicate more favorable Postrera crop development than satellite imagery (TRMM and NDVI). This may be due to regular distribution of rainfall and strong government input support. Close monitoring is needed
    • Postrera harvests in the 2006 and 2009 analogue years were 50-70 percent of the 2007 – 2011 average in this area. Above-average technical and input support, large increases in area planted and more favorable rainfall suggest that Postrera harvests in western Nicaragua are likely to be better than in analogue years, as much as 80 percent of the five-year average or better.

    Projected Outlook through March 2013

    Losses to the Primera harvest due to an erratic start of season were concentrated in the North and in the dry corridor. The government reported significant investment in agricultural inputs and a large increase in area planted compared to last year, leading to an average national Primera harvest. (Sep 2012) Prices began declining seasonably in September. Red bean prices are near last year’s prices, but white maize prices are 30 percent below 2011. Prices for both commodities are near the five-year average.

    The government has also reported significant increases in area planted for the Postrera season, compared to last year and the five-year average. Below-average rainfall totals and a cessation of rainfall two weeks earlier than usual are forecast for the August-October Postrera rains. This forecast is similar to 2006 and 2009 analogue years, when national Postrera production was 70-90 percent of the 2007 – 2011 average. Losses in the dry corridor in the West were higher, up to 50 percent of the 2007 – 2011 average. If the government’s estimates of increases in area planted are correct, then 2012 national Postrera production may be near the five-year average despite anticipated below-average rainfall and early cessation. This analysis assumes no major, late-season storms in November. If one or more late-season storms take place, it could improve soil moisture conditions and result in more favorable Postrera harvests despite some localized flood damage. The Jan/Feb Apante harvest in the center-north and southeast (mainly red and black beans), is likely to be similar to the 2007 – 2011 average, reinforcing national staple stocks. Similarly, the demand for unskilled, primarily agricultural labor in Central America will peak between October and March 2013 for the harvests of coffee beans, sugarcane, tobacco, etc. The supply and demand for unskilled labor, as well as labor migration, are expected to be near normal.

    High prices for US yellow maize are unlikely to impact Nicaragua white maize prices significantly because Nicaragua is the least reliant on US maize in the region and because imports from Brazil remain a cheaper, more appropriate alternative for yellow maize than locally-produced white maize. Staple food prices are expected to follow normal, seasonal trends through February/March 2013 (stable/declining) due to near-average national Postrera (Nov-Dec) and Apante (Jan-Feb) harvests.

    Food insecurity will remain Phase 1: Minimal (IPC 2.0) at least through the end of the projection period in March 2013 due to likely near average Postrera and Apante harvests, as well as average to good labor demand during the peak season, and staple food prices near the five-year average.

    Dry Corridor

    Macuelizo, Mozonte, Santa María, and Ciudad Antigua of Nueva Segovia Department were the municipalities most affected by Primera losses; Primera production was 90 percent of average in these areas. Furthermore, Nov/Dec Postrera harvests in the 2006 and 2009 analogue rainfall years were 50-70 percent of the 2007 – 2011 average in this area. Above-average technical and input support, large increases in area planted and more favorable rainfall to-date suggest that Postrera harvests in western Nicaragua are likely to be better than in analogue years, as much as 80 percent of the five-year average or better.

    Strong government intervention is likely to mitigate production deficits in the area. Furthermore, labor income and near-average staple food prices will be sufficient to allow households to purchase food to replace minor losses to own-production between Oct – Mar without significant modification of livelihoods. As such, the dry corridor is likely to remain Minimally food-insecure (IPC 2.0 Phase 1) through early 2013.

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Maize Water Requirements Satisfaction Index Anomaly (2001-2011), September 26-30, 2012.

    Figure 2

    Maize Water Requirements Satisfaction Index Anomaly (2001-2011), September 26-30, 2012.

    Source: USGS/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.

    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