El Salvador Current Statement and Current Anomalies, March 2012
he food security situation in El Salvador is stable. Before the primera season, the government delivered out-of cycle agricultural input packages to productive households in Tecoluca (San Vicente) and San Pedro (La Paz) to compensate for damages caused by 12E. Households are expected to begin harvesting these crops beginning in late March and continuing through April, with an estimated projected production of an estimated 3,686 MTs. The intent of this out-of-cycle production is to avoid market shortages of staple foods, and distribution areas were selected based on their productive potential for out-of-cycle harvests to assure greater country-wide availability of staple foods.
The Ministry of Agriculture (MAG) will distribute an additional 325,000 agricultural input packages, including white maize and seeds and fertilizer, to subsistence farmers in preparation for the primera season as part of their Agriculture Family Plan. Distribution will begin in mid-April in order to provide assistance to farmers in advance of the planting season which will begin in May starting in the western region. Beneficiary recipients have already been selected for this assistance. Agricultural assistance package will include domestically produced seeds (80 percent) and seeds imported from Nicaragua (20 percent). This assistance program is expected to provide enough inputs to plant over 267,000 hectares for a projected production of 921,658 MTs of white maize.
Unskilled labor opportunities are currently available for sugarcane harvest and will continue through April in Livelihood zone 3. Casual labor opportunities supporting coffee bean harvests have ended and households from livelihoods 1 and 2 are returning to their normal seasonal livelihoods activities.
According to MAG most commercial beans on the local markets are originally from Honduras and Nicaragua. The supply and demand of white maize and red beans remains stable, and prices are expected to remain stable in the near term. However, as the lean season approaches in May -June, prices are likely to increase.
Households throughout the country have maintained food reserves largely due to the adoption of effective drying and storage techniques that allowed for some salvaging of seeds in the aftermath of 12E. The availability of income from casual unskilled labor has also supplemented household food needs. However, communities in the pacific coastal area will experience an early lean season starting in May.