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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Apr
15

The “Achilles’ Heel” of Georgia’s Agriculture – Incomplete Land Registration

“We often preoccupy ourselves with the symptoms, whereas if we went to the root cause of the problems, we would be able to overcome the problems once and for all” – Wangari Muta Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 2004. LAND FRAGMENTATION – THE ROOT CAUSE “Commercialization of farmers can happen only if land consolidation occurs and farmers benefit from economies of scale” – Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Giorgi Kobulia stated at the Rural Conference 2019 held in Tbilisi last week. According to the latest agriculture census ...
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Feb
04

We Don't Need No Regulation: On Georgia’s Dairy and Livestock Sector

  Dairy production in Georgia is a hot topic right now. Over the last couple of years, new state regulations have been adopted in this sector. The most widely discussed recent change in regulations prohibits the use of milk powder in cheese production. This regulation was adopted in 2015, but was amended in June of 2017 in order to better serve consumer interests. While defining terms such as “cheese”, “butter”, and “matsoni” is definitely a step forward, the execution of this technical regulation is associated with many challenges, and Georgian con...
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Recent Comments
Salome Gelashvili
Dear Simon, Thank you for your comment. I think Australias experience with sheep slaughtering facilities is very interesting one w... Read More
Thursday, 07 February 2019 11:11 AM
Simon Appleby
Australia has regulations on minimum weights of cattle and sheep to be exported by sea, because juvenile animals at low body weigh... Read More
Wednesday, 06 February 2019 1:01 PM
Simon Appleby
HACCP is a good start, but discerning importers these days usually look for ISO22000. Halal certification is also important. I am ... Read More
Thursday, 07 February 2019 12:12 PM
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Nov
26

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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Oct
22

No Country for Wheat Trucks?!

About two months ago, the Georgian government announced the introduction of restrictions on wheat imports and their transit by road transport. However, this idea was soon abandoned in the wake of a concerted backlash from a number of stakeholders (including small-scale wheat importers, truck drivers, and flour-milling plants that use road-imported wheat). The culmination of the subsequent protests saw one truck driver scale the roof of the building of Revenue Service’s customs clearance zone, pour gasoline and threaten to set himself on fire. In response...
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May
07

Georgia’s Economy Grows, Agriculture Shrinks: What Should We Do?

Since 2012, when the political party Georgian Dream took leadership of the country’s governance, economic [real] growth reached its highest rate in 2017 (5.0%). The drivers of this growth were construction (11.2%), hotels and restaurants (11.2%) and the financial sector (9.2%). However, a few sectors of the economy declined in 2017, and one was agriculture (-2.7%). Experts on this sector agree that 2017 was a “bad year” for Georgia’s agriculture. Winter lasted longer and spring frost damaged fruit plantations. This was followed by some periods of drought...
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Simon Appleby
The growth in the construction industry is largely driven by foreign investment, both equity and debt, and supplemented by locally... Read More
Monday, 07 May 2018 10:10 AM
Pati
Thanks, Simon!Nobody should question the importance of FDI for Georgian agriculture. What we should question, however, is the tran... Read More
Tuesday, 22 May 2018 3:03 PM
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Apr
07

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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Eric Livny
Salome, you should read this https://www.kp.ru/daily/26388/3266046/. I laughed and cried at the same time. This Shlyapnikov guy mu... Read More
Tuesday, 10 April 2018 4:04 PM
Eric Livny
На чем-то Шляпникова надо было поймать. Поймали на очередной шутке - на якобы деньгах, «колионах» (от названия села Колионово), ко... Read More
Tuesday, 10 April 2018 4:04 PM
Salome Deisadze
That is so true, Eric. Georgian farmers mainly conduct transactions in cash. In this regard, blockchains might contribute to recor... Read More
Tuesday, 10 April 2018 4:04 PM
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