Food Security Outlook for Central America and the Caribbean, February to September 2022 – Honduras

Abnormally high prices continue to negatively impact household food access across the region

Key messages

  • In Central America, high prices are limiting food access and leading to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes for most poor rural households. Outcomes of the crisis (IPC Phase 3) are expected for the poorest households in the Honduran and Guatemalan Dry Corridor – who suffered significant agricultural losses in 2021 – as well as poor households affected by Hurricanes Eta and Iota – who have yet to recover their livelihoods. These households are highly market-dependent, with no savings and atypical debts, and are likely to employ various unsustainable coping strategies as the lean season progresses.

  • Significant increases in the price of fuel in the region have led to higher prices for transport, food and other basic commodities. This worsens already above-average food prices as a result of agricultural losses in the primera and postrera seasons of 2021 and has limited improvements throughout the season of high demand for agricultural labour. Markets, however, remain well stocked with local and imported staples, as formal and informal trade from Mexico has remained steady.

  • The apante/postrera tardía season should be average. At the same time, weather forecasts indicate a normal start to the next rainy season for most of the region and accumulated rainfall within normal parameters. This will favor the development of primera 2022 crops. However, high prices of agricultural inputs are likely to encourage farmers to reduce the area cultivated, thus limiting the demand for agricultural labor and overall production.

  • In Haiti, declining incomes and continued disruptions to livelihood activities have reduced poor households’ access to food, particularly in neighborhoods affected by gang violence in Port-au-Prince, areas suffering from the impacts residuals from the 2021 earthquake, as well as those in the dry regions of the country most vulnerable to climate and price shocks. These areas are expected to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, while others will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2).

  • Markets are well supplied with local and imported produce, despite short-cycle winter harvests likely to be below average. Near-average conditions allow land preparation for the spring agricultural season, particularly in the South, which should improve agricultural labor opportunities and income potential for rural households. However, sporadic food insecurity and shortages in the capital, high staple food and transport prices, and the continued depreciation of the Haitian gourde are reducing household purchasing power and access to food through market purchases.

Michael M. Tomlin