Income earned in the coffee harvests and prices within normal ranges for maize and beans improve purchasing capacity for poor households
Postrera harvests: Postrera harvests of staple crops, primarily beans, concluded without reports of major production losses. However, sorghum crops were atypically impacted by the disease known as pulgón amarillo, causing significant damage to crops and leading to production losses of more than 50 percent. Initial estimates for aggregate Postrera production indicate that volumes were greater than the previous Postrera season.
Coffee harvests: In general, regional coffee associations expect that coffee harvests during the 2016/2017 season will be greater than the previous season. Some localized areas have reported negative impacts from rainfall and cold fronts in the second half of December 2016, which disrupted the maturation process and caused some coffee cherries to fall. International coffee prices are currently 28 percent above the price for January 2016, according to the Composite Index of the International Coffee Organization. However, for exports of the current season in Honduras, the largest producer in Central America, average prices are reported at 14.49 percent above the average export price for last season.
Seasonal forecast: Forecast models and regional experts anticipate average to above-average rainfall for the remainder of the Apante/Postrera Tardía season in the Caribbean basin of Nicaragua and Honduras, and in the north of Guatemala. With neutral ENSO conditions expected during the beginning of the 2017 Primera season, a normal start of season is anticipated, with a typical range of possibilities for positive or negative rainfall anomalies.
Areas of concern: In Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, there are communities who experienced damages to both Primera and Postrera staple production in 2016, due to rainfall deficits and crop diseases. Although official estimates have not been finalized, available information indicates that the greatest damages to staple crops were experienced in municipalities of southwest Honduras that are prone to recurrent droughts, primarily in El Paraíso, Francisco Morazán, Choluteca, Valle, La Paz, and Intibucá. In these areas, the most affected households may enter Crisis (IPC Phase 3) prior to 2017 Primera harvests. However, these populations are not expected to be large enough to represent the IPC classification for any area within the country.