Central America and Caribbean: Key Message Update, September 2018
Spring/Primera and Summer/Postrera agricultural campaigns affected by prolonged dry spell
Ongoing crops of maize and beans of Primera season in the subsistence areas of the dry corridor are showing losses due to the impact of an extended dry spell, reporting losses between 50 and 75 percent on maize and beans. In Haiti, Spring campaign harvests are below normal due to the drought. On the other hand, banana, root and tuber and fruit crops are normal.
According to the COF (Climate outlook forecast for Central America), below average precipitation is forecasted for most of the areas in Central America during August-October, including the dry corridor, which could result in losses for the Postrera basic grains season.
Prices of staples show different trends: maize prices remain below average in Guatemala, average in Honduras, and above average in Nicaragua. Bean prices remain above average in Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In El Salvador, although maize and bean prices remain below average, they atypically increased due to stock retention from market. In Haiti, local maize prices increased while local black bean prices were stable.
Labor demand for coffee sector in Central America will decrease due to low international prices while the rest of labor demand sectors will remain stable. This situation is likely to impact subsistence farmers who rely partially on coffee harvest labor activities for their income. These households plan to rely on the sale of firewood, unusual sale of minor species an atypical migration.
Until January 2019, households will remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in Guatemala. Meanwhile in the rest of the region, poor households remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1). Although, certain households in affected areas could face worse outcomes. Haiti remains in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity. Some households in the North could be in crisis (IPC Phase 3), due to the drought.