El Salvador

Current Statement, May 2011

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The government of El Salvador has not distributed seeds and fertilizer to farmers yet. Assistance will go to 325,000 food insecure farmers in order to ensure timely primera season sowing. So far the farmers have not started to prepare lands because the inputs are not available. Sowing typically begins on or around May 15th.

The Climate Outlook Forum of Central America has forecasted an early start to the rainy season in El Salvador. Rainfall is expected to start in the first fifteen days of May in the central and western parts of the country; this is two weeks before normal. The rainy season in the coastal and eastern zone is expected to start after May 15th. There a 45 percent probability that the rain will be above normal this year, which is expected to benefit areas prone to dryness. However, in the rest of the country above-normal rains could lead to excess moisture and pose a problem for the primera crops.

The consumer price of red beans in the capital city is 162 percent higher than the same month last year, 118 percent higher from the recent five-year average and has decreased 5 percent from last month. There were delays in importing 90,000 quintals of beans from China that the government was planning to order to guarantee availability and stabilize prices, these are not yet in the markets.

The cost of maize has increased due to 2010 crop losses and an increase in international prices for basic grains and fuel. Maize prices are 35.4 percent higher than the five-year mean. It is only 2.7 percent higher than last year. Wholesale price increases of maize are larger - 61.55 percent in compared to the five-year historical average and 12.5 percent compared with last month. It is expected that this prices will be transmitted to the consumer in the next few months.

In general for El Salvador, the food security situation is expected to remain stable for the next few months despite that most households are experiencing the lean season, which will end in July with the primera harvest. However, if there are excess rains then there could be some crop losses. (April, 2011)