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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Mar
19

Georgian Farmer: From Nonperforming Landowner towards Agricultural Performer

Graph 1 shows the density of Georgian farmers’ revenues received from selling their produce, generated from the sample of 3,000 Georgian rural households. (For the motivation and methodology of our study, please refer to the article that was published here last week. It is also available online on the ISET Economist Blog: “Dumb Farmers Do Not Grow Big Potatoes”, by Florian Biermann and Ruediger Heining).  When the curve of the graph is high, it means that there are many farmers in the respective income range. When it is low, there are few. With...
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Eric Livny
I like the article, but dont agree with the caption under the picture. Why is smallholder agriculture necessarily ineffective? Wha... Read More
Tuesday, 22 March 2016 6:06 PM
Pati Mamardashvili
I liked the classification of Georgian farmers based on the stages of entrepreneurship. These stages (subsistence, local, intermed... Read More
Friday, 25 March 2016 11:11 AM
Guest — MichaelKortenbusch
I agree with Erics comment, that being a smallholder does not exclude from being efficient. The main difference between small and ... Read More
Monday, 28 March 2016 11:11 AM
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Mar
14

A Portrait of a Tushetian Farmer as an Entrepreneur

We first met Gogi Elanidze in winter 2015, when interviewing farmers in Rati’s village, Kvemo Alvani. Located in Akhmeta municipality, Kvemo Alvani and its twin, Zemo Alvani, are not your usual Kakhetian villages. The two serve as the winter base for the people of Tusheti, an isolated valley separated from Kakheti by the 3000m high Abano mountain pass. Getting settled. Kvemo Alvani’s rectangular shape and straight parallel streets betray a fairly recent, Soviet or...
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Mar
12

Dumb Farmers Do Not Grow Big Potatoes

This week, the Georgian public was shocked when a gross lack of competence and aptitude among the country’s teachers was unveiled.  As DFWatch.net reports on March 10th (quoting a Georgian source), of the 10,552 teachers registered for a competence check that took place in January, only 6,477 showed up in the first place, and of these, only 1,101 passed the test. However, the Georgian economy is struck by severe deficits in knowledge and skills in many sectors, and to find such examples, one does not have to look at industries that operate close to ...
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Eric Livny
Dear Nodar, I certainly agree that a lack of investment is a major issue. Its just that investment is also constrained by a lack o... Read More
Sunday, 13 March 2016 5:05 PM
Nodar
At first glance, anyone who reads this post come up the question: how can we explain this approximately constant productivity in a... Read More
Sunday, 13 March 2016 10:10 AM
Nodar
I completely agree to you point of view professor Livny. The lack of that knowledge as you said can be considered as the origin al... Read More
Sunday, 13 March 2016 7:07 PM
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Feb
22

A Georgian Man without Land Is Nobody?

Just like Duddy Kravitz, Georgian men (and women) appear to be reluctant to part with their parcels of land, however small and unproductive. Whatever the reason, Georgia sees almost no structural change out of agriculture, and, as a result, very low productivity and income growth for the poorest strata of its population. As of today, employment (or, rather, under-employment) in agriculture is a staggering 45% of Georgia’s total labor force.  As we have written on these pages, the notion that too many Georgians are ‘stuck in agriculture’ was a k...
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Irakli Kochlamazashvili
Land tax is property tax. The rate varies depending on the type of the land (arable, pasture etc.) and the location (municipality ... Read More
Tuesday, 23 February 2016 3:03 PM
Pati Mamardashvili
Farmers might have some other motivations for being reluctant to part with their parcels of land. Holding multiple small land plot... Read More
Wednesday, 24 February 2016 8:08 AM
Hans Gutbrod
This is interesting, and I agree with much of what you say. I agree with key things, such as improving infrastructure and reducing... Read More
Wednesday, 24 February 2016 1:01 PM
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Feb
15

Young Seedlings of Georgia's Agriculture

Ancient Greeks’ fascination with Georgia was not limited to the Golden Fleece. Legend has it that ‘Georgia’ comes from the Greek γεωργός (Georgios), reflecting the advanced land plowing practices of Georgian tribes, which distinguished them from their nomadic and yet unsettled neighbors. The Georgians (Colchians and Iberians, to be more precise) must have really made a formidable impression on the Argonauts to deserve such a recognition. Fast forward to the 21st century. According to the CIA World Factbook, Georgian agriculture employs a mind-blowingly h...
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Hans Gutbrod
interesting, thanks for sharing. I think the Internet makes it a bit easier for young people to stay out in the countryside, becau... Read More
Monday, 15 February 2016 4:04 PM
Lasha Lanchava
I was positively surprised when Baia mentioned 'nudge' – referring to Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s New York Times bestseller... Read More
Tuesday, 16 February 2016 8:08 AM
Nana Moutafidou
Nice piece, thanks for sharing
Tuesday, 16 February 2016 8:08 AM
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Feb
01

Let It Be

When Saint Nino, one of Georgia’s most venerated saints, traveled to Mtskheta back in the fourth century, she stopped to erect a grapevine cross in Foka, a small settlement on the shores of Lake Paravani some 2000 meters above sea level. Saint Nino must have traveled during the summer since, even today, Foka is very difficult to reach for about 6 months of the year. Heaps of snow block all major access roads during the long and cold winter.  In 1992, as Georgia was going through the most painful period in its recent history, six young Georgian ...
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Eric Livny
I could not agree more. There are plenty of talented people across Georgia's countryside, but instead of doing good for the commun... Read More
Tuesday, 02 February 2016 6:06 PM
Pati Mamardashvili
Let it be! Let all Georgian villages be inspired by Poka example! As a synonym to Let it be! (dae asec ikos) Georgians often use t... Read More
Tuesday, 02 February 2016 5:05 PM
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