The food security situation in Nicaragua is stable, except for the northern dry corridor and northeast region. These areas have experienced large crop losses in 2010 and are estimated to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2). In a normal year, households in these zones would have food reserves from their own production, but due to the crop losses during the first and second seasons of 2010 these stocks are already depleted.
Although there has been a slight decline in the market food prices, they remain higher than normal for this time of year. The combination of reduced stocks and income and higher than normal food prices mean that households may face acute food insecurity as the lean season advances. At the national level, prices of basic grains in municipal markets and local grocery stores have been stable over the past month. The cost of maize on average is C$4.50/pound, beans are C$17/pound, rice is C$12.00/pound, and sorghum/millon to C$3.50/pound.
During April-May it is expected that primera sowing season will begin in these zones. However, the poorest households have limited income to purchase seeds. MAGFOR in conjunction with WFP, FAO and EU funded projects will assist the dry corridor during the primera season which should help to alleviate the food insecurity in this zone.
According to the Outlook Forum of Central America it is expected that the temperature of the ocean will return to normal in the next few months and the La Nina phenomena will stop. In the area of concern there is a 40 percent probability that the rain will be normal and 35 percent probability that the rains will be above normal. An increase in moisture would be beneficial for the primera season. Recent field trips to the zones found that soil preparation for planting has not begun. Land preparation for the upcoming agricultural season is likely to start in in the second half of April. (April, 2011)