Guatemala Food Security Update, March 2009

Situation Report
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- The food security situation in the country could be affected by an early annual season of food shortages in the West and East. This situation can be mitigated with a timely, focused, and targeted intervention through the government's contingency plan.

- An irregular start of the rains could affect the sowing of the first crops (primera). We recommend a follow-up of INSIVUMEH's periodical forecasts and proper guidance to farmers in accordance with these.

- To ensure a good crop yield, immediate distribution of subsidized fertilizer in parts of the West during the second half of March and mid-April in the rest of the country is necessary.

- The availability of food in the North could improve with the crop that is soon to come out. Damages due to the Mancha de Asfalto plague have not yet been assessed. If the magnitude is not severe, we would expect the prices of maize and beans to drop in the coming weeks due to the increased supply in the market.