ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
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Food Prices are on Fire

In November 2019, prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages, as measured by the Food Price Index (FPI), drastically increased by 13.4% compared to November 2018 and contributed 4.02 percentage points to the change in the total Consumer Price Index (CPI). In recent months, annual food inflation marked at its highest level since August 2011 (Figure 1).1 Figure 1: Annual Food Price Inflation (January 2010-November 2019) Prices increased for all sub-categories of food and non-alcoholic beverages. The largest price increases were observed for fruits and gr...
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How Can You Be Sure? On the Agricultural Insurance in Georgia

  BACKGROUND Agricultural production is associated with a variety of risks, including market, institutional, and production risks. An important production factor in agriculture is the weather. Its uncontrollable nature makes weather risk the prevailing risk to agricultural production. Farmers have various informal and formal means of transferring and mitigating these risks. Informal means include savings, diversification, off-farm activities, etc. The most common formal means of risk mitigation is insurance. Insurance is a contract that transfers th...
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What Does Not Kill you… or the Story of Hazelnuts

On November 15, 2018, the Agricultural Policy Research Center (APRC) presented the results of its “Study on Private Service Providers in the Organic Hazelnut Value Chain in Georgia” to stakeholders. The event was organized by HEKS-EPER South Caucasus, the ISET Policy Institute (ISET-PI), and PAKKA AG, a Swiss holding. BACKGROUND Hazelnuts have historically been one of the main crops in terms of economic value for Georgia as the country is located in the Black Sea coastal area, which has suitable soil and climate conditions for the growth of hazelnuts. In...
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Great Expectations: Does the DCFTA Really Boost Georgia’s Economic and Export Potential?

On June 27, 2014, Georgia and the EU signed an Association Agreement (AA) and its integral part – the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). On July 1st, 2016, DCFTA fully entered into force. Until then, trade between Georgia and the EU was regulated by the Special Incentive Arrangement for Sustainable Development and Good Governance that contained a Generalized System of Preferences+ (GSP+) agreed to in 2005.  GSP+ covered 7,200 products for which the customs duty was reduced or eliminated when exporting to the EU market. It is w...
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Blockchains for Agriculture: The Future is Unwritten

  Blockchain technology became a huge story last year due to the hype over cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Etherium. Banks and other financial institutions are rushing to adopt blockchain technology. Nowadays, about 15% of financial institutions use blockchain technology to secure and validate transactions. IBM was the one of the first companies that saw the potential of blockchain use and encouraged startups related to the concept. While blockchain technology is mainly associated with the use of cryptocurrencies, the concept can be implemented...
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How Safe Is Your Food?

  Food safety has become an important aspect of agricultural policy for many countries (see, e.g., CAP). By definition, “Food safety refers to the conditions and practices that preserve the quality of food to prevent contamination and foodborne illnesses.” In other words, food safety aims to protect the health of humans, animals and plants at every stage of the food production chain in conformance with the "farm-to-table” principle established by the EU. FOOD SAFETY IN GEORGIA On June 27, 2014, Georgia and the EU signed the Association Agreement (AA...
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