HONDURAS* (8 February)
Harvesting of 2004/05 second season maize and bean crops is well advanced. Dry weather conditions from November to January affected first season harvest and second season plantings in south-eastern provinces of Francisco Morazán, Choluteca, Valle and El Paraiso. Consequently, aggregate maize output for 2004 is tentatively forecast at below average 450 000 tonnes. Harvesting of minor second season paddy crop is underway in the Atlantic provinces of Cortes and Colon. Despite some losses due to dry weather at the end of last year, 2004 aggregate paddy output is early estimated at above average 29 200 tonnes as a consequence of the good production obtained in the first season ‘de primera’ paddy crop.
Wheat and maize (mainly white) imports in marketing year 2004/05 (July/June) are forecast at 200 000 tonnes and 250 000 tonnes, very similar to previous year’s volumes. Food assistance continues to be provided by the international community, targeting in particular women, children under the age of five and elderly people in the drought-affected municipalities.