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Country Briefs

  Nicaragua

Reference Date: 02-November-2021

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Output of 2021 maize harvest officially anticipated at below‑average level

  2. Cereal import requirements forecast at high levels in 2021/22 marketing year

  3. Prices of white maize rose sharply in June‑September 2021

Output of 2021 maize harvest officially anticipated at below‑average level

The 2021 minor season maize is currently at vegetative and flowering stages. According to satellite imageries, crop conditions in the western region are generally favourable, while below‑average precipitation amounts in September affected crops in the central region. Weather forecasts indicate a high likelihood of average rain amounts in the November 2021 to January 2022 period, which are likely to restore soil moisture deficits and improve yields. According to official sources, the 2021 maize production, including the main season output harvested in the August to September period, is forecast at below‑average 370 000 tonnes. This is mainly due to a contraction in plantings as farmers preferred to plant red beans, whose exports increased since the beginning of 2020, inferring improved financial gains for farmers. Yields of the main season output are estimated to be below average in the northcentral area due to limited rains in May and June during the planting and crop development stages.

Regarding the 2021 paddy, harvesting of the rainfed crop is ongoing in highlands. The 2021 aggregated paddy production is officially forecast at 420 000 tonnes, registering an increase for the sixth consecutive year, mainly due to an increased use of high yield varieties, together with the continued expansion of the area sown.

Cereal import requirements forecast at high levels in 2021/22 marketing year

Cereal import requirements in the 2021/22 marketing year (September/August) are forecast at high 820 000 tonnes, reflecting the sustained demand for wheat‑based products as well as for yellow maize by the local feed industry. Compared to the previous marketing year, imports are expected to decline slightly due to existing large carryover stocks.

Prices of white maize rose sharply in June‑September 2021

Prices of red beans have been generally stable in 2021, reflecting good harvests in 2020 and adequate market supplies. By contrast, prices of white maize increased sharply between June and September 2021 and were nearly 50 percent higher year on year in September. The high level of maize prices mainly reflects concerns over the impact of dry weather conditions on the main season harvest, exacerbated by elevated transport costs. The upward trend of international prices exerted additional pressure on domestic markets. Prices of rice also increased sharply between August and September 2021. Overall, prices of most food items were higher year on year, as indicated by the official annual inflation rate of food and non‑alcoholic beverages, estimated at 8 percent in September 2021.

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