Coffee rust and falling international prices are critical for the current agricultural season
- The second harvest of maize and beans began in the region , which will increase the supply of grains in the domestic markets and throughout the region . This will begin to reduce prices given that wholesale prices in the last six months were increasing. Availability and access to food will improve.
- PROMECAFE estimates production losses for the 2013/2014 season in the region will be in the range of 18 to 25 percent. This will mean a similar reduction in the demand for unskilled labor, reducing the income of poor households dependent on this sector.
- In October 2013, the composite indicator price in the international coffee market was quoted at U.S.$107.03/lb, 81 percent lower than in October 2011. As prices steadily have fallen, producers have not invested in treatment in affected areas in order to control the coffee rust. Impacts may extend beyond 2015.
- Poor households in Nicaragua and El Salvador are classified as having Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1), while losses from the staple grain harvest in Honduras places poor households in Stress (IPC Phase 2).
Spring grain crops and coffee production losses affect poor households
- Rainfall anomalies in July and August affected spring sowing, mostly in Honduras, where por subisitence agricultura communities were most affected, in the South (Valle, La Paz, El Paraíso y Choluteca) and Northeast (Olancho) regions.
- The onset of the fall rains (September to November) demonstrated anomalies that could affect the Postrera sowing season (partially or totally damaged areas, with replanting or without crops) in the following production zones by country: in Honduras; Colon, Atlántida, Olancho, Francisco Morazán, El Paraíso, Choluteca, and Comayagua; and in Nicaragua: León, Estelí, Managua, and Madriz.
- The forecast for 2013/2014 coffee harvest losses are between 20 and 40 percent. In the subregion, it is posible that the situation could worsen because of the prevalence of a coffee plant pest (Hypothenemus hampei Ferrari) and international coffee prices could fall.
- Due to reduced income for some households linked to the coffee sector, in addition to spring production losses, some areas in Honduras will experience Stressed acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 2). However, El Salvador and Nicaragua will remain at Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) as spring harvest losses were localized.
Irregular rains affected regional production for Primera
- Due to production losses arising from irregular rainfall in July and August in surplus areas in Honduras, prices could steadily rise in Honduras and in neighboring countries towards the end of the year.
- The Primera harvest will begin in August/September and will allow households in El Salvador and Nicaragua to maintain Minimum (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity through December this year.
- Damage to the Primera harvest reduces reserves by the end of the year, but the Postrera harvest and coffee labor are alternatives to help households meet their food needs. However, employment in the coffee harvest will be reduced due to the impact of rust, leaving this population with Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes in early 2014.
- The last two months of the rainy season should be above normal, which may affect the Postrera harvest by incurring damages to both planting seasons for staple grain crops, impacting poor households mainly in Honduras which will experience Stressed conditions (IPC Phase 2). Because of localized damages in El Salvador and Nicaragua, they are considered to maintain Minimum (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity.
- The re-seeding and recepa pruning (cutting trees back to a height of 10 inches off the ground) on coffee plantations affected by rust will result in reduced production areas, involving losses of approximately 455,550 jobs in the three countries in the region. This will have an impact on the migrant day labor population in subsistence coffee production areas.
Losses for maize production are expected in the dry corredor for the Primera harvest
- The majority of poor households in the dry corridor have likely used up their grain reserves (corn and beans) by July and will depend on market supply. Harvests are expected in August and September, while day labor (coffee, sugar cane and fruits) will begin in October.
- Because of irregular rainfall in July and August, significant losses in maize production are expected in the dry corridor in the region. This will cause Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity in November for poor households in these areas, principally in Honduras and localized areas in Nicaragua.
- In spite of production losses in areas of the dry corridor in the region, the Primera harvest will be able to supply markets as usual until the end of November when the Postrera harvest begins.
- In October, labor demand commences for the coffee harvest, which will be reduced because of the coffee rust crisis. This situation will imply a reduction in income agricultural workers, which have also been affected by irregular rainfall.
Minimal acute food insecurity continues throughout the projection period
- The Primera harvest, beginning in August/September, will end the lean season and will allow poor households to maintain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity and continue to meet their needs. The high season for unskilled labor will begin in October improving access to income at the household level.
- In the east and in the south (along the dry corridor), continued below-average rainfall from previous months and July’s likely similar performance may lead to a reduced yield.
- Labor demand and wages are likely to decrease by at least 30 percent during the next harvest (October 2013 to March 2014) as a result of rust damage in the coffee sector. Any potential impact on reduced access to food for poor households will take place in the following consumption year.
Poor households are meeting their needs during the lean season
- Poor households’ food reserves are gradually being depleted in June/July yet they will still be able to meet their needs as usual during the lean season. Food access from the Primera harvest will begin in August/September and allow households to maintain Minimal acute food insecurity throughout the projection period, September 2013.
- An irregular start of the rainy season and below-normal rainfall to date have led to a slight delay in planting. This, along with localized rainfall deficits, may reduce final yields, mainly in the dry corridor.
- Coffee rust will reduce the 2013/2014 harvest by at least 35 to 40 percent, consequently, labor demand and wages are likely to decrease by at least 30 percent during the next harvest (October 2013 to March 2014).
Minimal levels of acute food insecurity expected despite the lean season
- Normal crop development is likely due to normal rainfall distribution. Localized rainfall deficits in July could lead to reduced yields in drier areas. Yet overall, the anticipated dry spell is likely to be less dry than usual in July. A tropical cyclone is anticipated to reach the north coast in June and could impact local production.
- Acute food insecurity is likely to remain Minimal (Phase 1 IPC 2.0) through the projection period, even with the ongoing lean season, as poor households are meeting their needs. Despite the seasonal rise in prices, good national and regional production of red beans kept prices low and accessible. Further food access will result from the Primera season in August.
- Coffee rust will reduce the 2013/2014 harvest by at least 35 to 40 percent, which is on average higher than in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Consequently, labor demand and wages are likely to decrease by at least 30 percent during the next harvest (October 2013 to March 2014).
Acute food insecurity is likely to remain Minimal even with the lean season underway
- The lean season is underway and will continue through August. Acute food insecurity will likely remain Minimal (Phase 1, IPC 2.0) through the projection period, September 2013, as poor households are meeting their needs due to average to good income, average production and relatively accessible consumer prices. Food access from the Primera season will be accessible from August on.
- Forecasts indicate normal rainfall throughout July, leading to an average Primera harvest. A less dry than normal canícula (dry spell) is expected in July and localized areas may face rainfall deficits. Therefore, local yields may be reduced. A tropical cyclone is likely to reach the north coast in June and could impact local production.
- Coffee rust will reduce 2013/2014 harvest by at least 35 to 40 percent, consequently labor demand and wages are likely to reduce by at least 30 percent during the next harvest (October 2013 to– March 2014).
Minimal acute food insecurity through the end of the consumption year.
- The acute food insecurity is likely to remain Minimal (Phase 1, IPC 2.0), even with the seasonal onset of the lean season in April, as poor households are meeting their food and nonfood needs from current average to good income and accessible consumer food prices.
- The Primera planting season will begin in May/June. Average amounts of rainfall and planted area are anticipated, followed by average harvests in August/September.
- The coffee rust outbreak will not significantly affect current yields or labor demand, yet will affect the 2013/14 harvest season.
- Acute food insecurity is likely to remain Minimal (Phase 1, IPC 2.0) through the end of the consumption year. Due to average to good income levels and accessible food prices, poor households are meeting their food and nonfood needs. These favorable conditions are likely to sustain poor households, even with the onset of the lean season in April.
- Coffee rust prevalence is three to four times higher than normal in some areas. About 25 percent of coffee plants are affected nationally. As a result, the 2013/2014 harvest and labor demand are likely to be significantly reduced.