As of the end of April, the food security situation in Honduras remained stable but could change before the primera season if household food stocks do not last until the next harvest. Typically households are dependent of food stocks from their own production this time of year, but food stocks are currently low because of large crop losses in 2010.
The lean season in Honduras typically begins in May/June, however this year the lean season is beginning in April. This year a majority of households have begun to buy grains from the market to meet their food needs, a strategy to meet food needs that is typically observed during the lean season. In addition to an earlier lean season, this lean season may become more severe because food prices will likely increase in the coming months due to different factors such as international prices and limited domestic production. Households are earning income through occasional labor in the surrounding area and migrating to nearby cities. However, the level of income earned is not enough to access an adequate amount of food.
Consumer prices for red beans continue to decrease in small percentages, up to 5%, meanwhile the white maize prices have increased up to 10% from the prior month; however, the prices are still over 125 and 63% from the previous year and 107 and 65% from the last five years average, respectively.
In harvest of the third bean crop in April will relieve the pressure of this year’s lean season. This additional season of beans was promoted by the Honduras Government through the Secretaría de Agricultura y Ganadería (SAG) (PPGB), this will help to reduce the price of beans for the poorest households. At the same time, the Honduras Government through the SAG and its PPGB has planned to assist 180 thousand families cultivate over 151,000 hectares in the Primera season. Each family will receive 25 pounds of seeds and 100 pounds of fertilizer (12-24-12). Currently there are planned assistance programs from international organizations to be implemented in the most vulnerable areas of Honduras to combat food insecurity.
The Regional Climate Outlook Forum forecast predicts a 45 percent chance of normal rains for the next three months in the two most vulnerable areas. This is likely to benefit the primera harvest and will further relieve the acute food insecurity in August. (April, 2011)