ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Sep
12

To Bee or not to Bee?

  The economic significance of bees extends far beyond honey production. As the National Resource Defense Council writes in 2011 (“Why We Need Bees: Nature’s Tiny Workers Put Food on Our Tables”), the value of the honey that bees produced in the US in that year amounted to 150 million dollars, while the value of the harvested crops that were pollinated by bees was 15 billion dollars, i.e., greater by a factor of 100! Having bees around is not primarily beneficial for the beekeepers, but even more for anyone else who grows crops, fruits, or vegetable...
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Jul
04

Will Restricting Food Imports Save Georgian Farmers?

On June 2, 2016 the second EU supported Farmers’ Congress of Georgia was held at the Tbilisi exposition center. Around 150 farmers from different parts of Georgia had an opportunity to meet with the government representatives and discuss current challenges of Georgian agriculture. The Congress mainly focused on three major issues for smallholders and cooperatives:  access to market, access to finance and potential impact of food security regulations. Farmers provided their own view on what type of trade policies the government should implement in or...
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Jun
30

Food Prices Reach Lowest Mark. At Least in Tbilisi

Retail food prices decreased by 7.6% m/m (compared to the last week of May) and 10.1% y/y (compared to June 2015). The biggest drops were observed for tomatoes (-65.5%), cucumbers (-63.3%) and eggplant (-33.7%). Only a few products gained in value. The highest increases were recorded for cabbage (12.8%), tea (7.3%) and rice (7.2%). TBILISI FOOD PRICES REACH MINIMUM?! Retail FPI reached its lowest mark at the end of June with the main drivers being fresh fruits and vegetables. On the one hand, price declines in the fresh produce category are always expect...
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Eric Livny
Indeed, recovering lost markets is not going to be easy, especially for basic foodstuffs like tomatoes and cucumbers. The French w... Read More
Thursday, 30 June 2016 3:03 PM
Simon Appleby
Before the breakdown in relations, Turkey exported about USD$2.5 billion worth of fruit/vegetable and nuts to Russia each year. Ru... Read More
Thursday, 30 June 2016 2:02 PM
Simon Appleby
Even French wine is not guaranteed re-entry, on equitable terms or at all. Russian investors are being offered huge subsidies to e... Read More
Thursday, 30 June 2016 7:07 PM
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Jun
22

Georgian Consumers Outsmarting Supermarket Managers?

Seasons change, and so do Georgian food prices. In the second week of June, Georgia’s major food retail networks (Carrefour, Goodwill, Fresco and SPAR) lowered their prices by an average of 3.9% y/y and 1.8% m/m. Compared to the end of May, prices moved the most for the following food items: eggplant (-21%), pasta (-10.3%) and coffee (-5.7%); wheat flour (+11%), buckwheat (+10.5%) and garlic (+6.8%). THE LAW OF ONE PRICE … WHAT LAW? Why should exactly the same product sell at dramatically different prices in different shops? It shouldn’t. At least that’s...
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Simon Appleby
It is good that you mention the issue of loss leaders. In Europe, America and Australia, farmers and processors are regularly outr... Read More
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 11:11 AM
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Apr
30

We May Not Be Hungry, but We Are Starving...

It is a well known fact that nearly a half of Georgian population is involved in agriculture, while Georgia imports around 60% of all the food it consumes. High food import share and food security  are important issues for Georgia, widely discussed among the policy makers and in the media. One issue that remains largely in the shadows of public attention is Georgia’s struggle with nutritional deficiencies and unhealthy, undiversified diets.  Surveys show that bread is one of the main sources of calories in Georgian diets, accounting for as much...
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Salome Gelashvili
Dear Florian, Thank you for your comment. 1. The issue of obesity is indeed very interesting and according to WHO: Nationally repr... Read More
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 12:12 PM
Florian Biermann
(1) I am surprised that Georgians are eating that much starchy food. I always thought that countries where people eat a lot of bre... Read More
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 10:10 AM
Guest — Yasya
Florian, you are right, food supplements can be very important for poor countries. We discussed this issue in an earlier blog, in ... Read More
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 11:11 AM
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Apr
05

XXI Century Arrives to Kakheti, with soplidan.ge

Have you ever had a problem of buying healthy products or being lazy to go shopping in open air bazaar? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to order natural and fresh food that gets delivered straight to your door that is not of the fast-food, take-away variety? There might just be reason for optimism with the story of soplidan.ge (“from the village”).  This is a story of a small-business with an innovative idea. Soplidan is the first Georgian internet portal to offer online shopping for agricultural products. Consumers can choose goods they wa...
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Ia Katsia
Dear Nana,I am very grateful for your support.
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 2:02 PM
Nana Moutafidou
Ia, praise is all yours! Very nice article. The Kakhetian girls do a very good job. A great example for entrepreneurial initiative... Read More
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 10:10 AM
Nana Moutafidou
Eric, this is stuff to answer in a new article
Thursday, 07 April 2016 3:03 AM
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