The rainy season is underway and providing agricultural income opportunities for many very poor households, but some areas of the country have yet to see the rainy season begin. Moreover, there is an 80 percent likelihood for an El Nino to occur during the April to June period, which could result in below-average total seasonal rainfall, and therefore below-average harvests in June and July.
Prices for locally produced foods were generally higher on markets in March 2015 than at the same time in 2014. On certain markets, prices of locally produced maize meal and beans are 40 and 30 percent above average, respectively. Imported staple foods, however, only show slight monthly and yearly changes.
Erratic rainfall in several parts of the country, a lack of investment in the agricultural sector, and above-average prices for agricultural inputs (seeds and fertilizer) will likely contribute to a reduction in demand for agricultural labor. Poor and very poor households in the South-East, North-West, and Artibonite Departments, having experienced production losses in 2014 and having recently been in Stressed (IPC Phase 2), are likely to fall into Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between April and June.