Honduras

GIEWS Country Brief: Honduras 23-April-2021

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FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Land preparation for 2021 main season maize crop ongoing amid adequate soil moisture levels

  • Cereal production in 2020 estimated at above‑average level

  • Cereal import requirements forecast at high levels in 2020/21 marketing year

  • Prices of red beans declined with improved market availabilities from 2020 third season harvest

  • About 3.06 million people estimated severely food insecure in April‑June period

Land preparation for 2021 main season maize crop ongoing amid adequate soil moisture levels

In the key producing central-eastern regions, land preparation activities are underway for the planting of the 2021 main season maize crop from early May. Since March, slightly above‑average precipitation amounts benefitted soil moisture levels. Weather forecasts point to a high likelihood of near‑average precipitation amounts during the May‑July period, which raises expectations of adequate water supplies to crops at development and flowering stages. In order to lower the production costs of farmers, the Government has extended the exemption of the value added tax on farmers’ purchases of agricultural machinery/parts and irrigation systems in 2021.

Cereal production in 2020 estimated at above‑average level

The 2020 cereal production, mostly maize, is estimated at an above‑average level of 690 000 tonnes. The abundant maize output gathered in 2020 is mainly due to excellent yields of the main season crop, reflecting favourable weather conditions. Localized losses of maize occurred during the minor season due to the passage of two consecutive hurricanes in early November. However, heavy rains and consequent flooding severely affected the main season bean crops. After the hurricanes, the Government increased the distribution of seeds and fertilizers to farmers in the areas where the third season bean crops are cultivated. This, together with favourable weather conditions in the first quarter of 2021, boosted the third “postrera tardía” season output harvested in March and April 2021.

Cereal import requirements forecast at high levels in 2020/21 marketing year

Cereal import requirements in the 2020/21 marketing year (September/August) are forecast at 1.1 million tonnes, 10 percent higher than the previous five‑year average, due to the sustained demand for yellow maize by the feed industry. Similarly, the demand for wheat and rice, largely imported to satisfy domestic consumption needs, continues to increase steadily following the population growth.

Prices of red beans declined with improved market availabilities from 2020 third season harvest

Prices of red beans declined in March 2021 as large supplies from the third “postrera tardía” season harvest eased the previous upward pressure caused by crop losses due to the November hurricanes. Similarly, prices of white maize decreased for the second consecutive month and, in March 2021, they were more than 20 percent below their year‑earlier levels, reflecting the above‑average 2020 harvests. In March, prices of rice were also lower year on year due to a contraction in import flows in the October 2020‑February 2021 compared to the same period a year earlier.

About 3.06 million people estimated severely food insecure in April‑June period

According to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, nearly 3.1 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure (classified in IPC Phase 3: “Crisis” and above) between April and June 2021. The highest number of food insecure people since the start of the IPC analysis in the country in 2013 is partially due to the greater geographical scope of analysis, but also reflects the negative impact of the November hurricanes on crop and livelihood losses. Income/job losses and low remittances amid the COVID‑19 pandemic have also exacerbated the already fragile food security situation of the country.