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Country Briefs

  Honduras

Reference Date: 09-September-2020

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Output of 2020 main season maize crop anticipated at above‑average level

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

  3. Prices of red beans declined significantly in August to pre‑pandemic levels

  4. About 1.65 million people estimated severely food insecure in June‑August period

Output of 2020 main season maize crop anticipated at above‑average level

Harvesting of the 2020 main season maize crop, which accounts for about 70 percent of the annual production, is ongoing. Production is anticipated to recover from last year's drought‑reduced volume and reach an above‑average level due to good weather conditions. Favourable rains since the beginning of the season instigated farmers to increase the area planted and improved yields. A localized outbreak of Central American locusts, reported in mid‑July in the easternsouthern areas, was effectively controlled by the local authorities, with negligible damage to crops.

Planting of the 2020 minor season maize crop started in September amid overall adequate soil moisture levels. Weather forecasts indicate a high likelihood of average precipitation amounts between September and October in the main producing eastern region, favouring crop development. The Government is distributing vouchers worth HNL 150 million (equivalent to USD 6 million) to 150 000 farmers to be used for the purchase of agricultural inputs for the main season beans, minor maize and rice crops.

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, has been steadily increasing following the population growth.

Prices of red beans declined significantly in August to pre‑pandemic levels

Prices of white maize in August weakened due to increased market supplies from the ongoing main season harvest. Prices were near their year‑earlier levels, supported by increased imports during the first half of 2020.

After the upsurge in the April‑July period, prices of red beans decreased by more than 45 percent in August, as the domestic demand that soared during the COVID‑19 pandemic returned to normal levels. The significant decline also reflects the ongoing harvest of the minor season bean crop.

About 1.65 million people estimated severely food insecure in June‑August period

According to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, an early depletion of food stocks and high food prices due to the reduced 2019 crop production, resulted in an increase of the severely food insecure population (classified in IPC Phase 3 and above), from 1.2 million in the March‑June 2020 period to 1.65 million in the June‑August 2020 period. Furthermore, income/job losses and lower remittances amid the COVID‑19 pandemic exacerbated the already fragile food security situation.

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