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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Jan
23

Mandatory Flour Fortification in Georgia: a Boon or a Burden for the Poor?

We are what we eat – in the near future Georgians are likely to be reminded of this universal truth.   Soon the Georgian Parliament will be discussing a small but important change, which will affect something as significant and vital as bread, along with pasta, khachapuri and anything made with wheat flour. The Georgian legislators will be considering a law, according to which flour fortification will become mandatory in Georgia. Mandatory food fortification is a contentious issue. The proponents of the law argue that this change is a great way to d...
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Guest — PatiMamardashvili
I agree with the author that flour fortification might correct some nutritional deficiencies which seem to be quite prevalent amon... Read More
Saturday, 30 January 2016 7:07 PM
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Nov
30

Innovation Starts Here and Now … In Lisi Lake Greenhouses

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.  -John Maynard Keynes- Innovation is not necessarily about Silicon Valley Hi-Tech startups. It can happen here and now. In particular, contrary to what we have been hearing from our liberal politicians, there is plenty of scope for innovation in Georgia’s agriculture! Owned and managed by Nina Petrova-Dzneladze, Lisi Lake Greenhouses is a family farm located on 0.6ha of land in Tbilisi. The complex consists of three medium size greenhouses producing fruit and ...
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Guest — Ia
Great blog article!Since due to land restrictions farmers in Georgia often do not have access to large areas of land, greenhouse i... Read More
Wednesday, 16 December 2015 3:03 PM
Guest — PatiMamardashvili
Thanks for the comment, Ia! Indeed, farmers (not only in Georgia) often stick to old production techniques and hardly innovate. Th... Read More
Monday, 01 February 2016 7:07 AM
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Nov
07

Georgian Tea: Finding New Strength in Unity?

After many years of chaos and utter collapse, Georgia’s once glorious tea industry is again showing signs of life. More and more individual farmers and businesses – mostly very small, but some quite ambitious, such as Geoplant (known for its “Gurieli” brand) – grow, process and pack tea. Despite competition from major producing countries and international brands, Georgian tea has great export potential because of the value attached to it all over the former Soviet Union.  While the potential is clearly there, it is not at all clear what strategy sho...
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Irakli Kochlamazashvili
Those outstanding players of the industry (like Giorgi and Avto) might be given a special status/share in the cooperatives to give... Read More
Sunday, 08 November 2015 1:01 PM
Eric Livny
Thanks for your comment, Irakli! My sense is that processors could be included in a growers cooperative as associated members. The... Read More
Tuesday, 10 November 2015 3:03 PM
Lasha Lanchava
Ineed, in Lithuania for example the Law on Cooperatives establishes "One man one vote" practice. However, if the size of the coope... Read More
Tuesday, 10 November 2015 6:06 PM
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Oct
03

Georgian Wine: Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best

"You mean there's a catch?""Sure there's a catch", Doc Daneeka replied. "Catch-22. Anyone who [claims he is crazy because he] wants to get out of combat duty isn't really crazy."Joseph Heller, Catch 22 Пока гром не грянет, мужик не перекрестится.Русская народная пословица   The Georgian wine industry had a couple of very good years in 2013 and 2014, following the opening of the Russian market. Exports skyrocketed, prices of grapes followed suit. For all the talk about diversification, within just two years, Russia’s share in the total exports o...
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Simon Appleby
Your article raises very interesting arguments, well done!Grape prices in Georgia in 2013/4 rtveli were higher than that of South ... Read More
Saturday, 03 October 2015 6:06 PM
Eric Livny
Thanks, Simon, both for the compliments and the very useful comments and links!
Saturday, 03 October 2015 7:07 PM
Guest — BekaGonashvili
Subsidies are making even "lazy" Georgian Farmer's to be more lazy!Governmental subsidies should go Mostly in Marketing, Research,... Read More
Saturday, 03 October 2015 9:09 PM
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Sep
26

Georgian Farmers Playing Russian Roulette

On August 20, 2015 a strong hailstorm hit Georgia, devastating crops and infrastructure in eastern Kakheti. In Kvareli alone, the hailstorm destroyed about 1,300ha of Saperavi and 1,000ha of Rkatsiteli grapes, affecting more than 500 families. This was only one in a string of natural disasters striking Georgian farmers in recent years. One of the worst calamities occurred in July 2012, when heavy rain, strong winds, hail and floods damaged thousands of hectares of arable land in Kakheti, ripping roofs and destroying vital infrastructure.   Whil...
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Irakli Kochlamazashvili
Very good piece, indeed! One fact I would like to underline is that (it is mentioned in the blog also), on the one hand, the mini... Read More
Saturday, 26 September 2015 8:08 PM
Guest — SalomeGelashvili
Dear Rati, Thank you for your comment. I agree that all the projects implemented by APMA should be in line with each other in ord... Read More
Monday, 28 September 2015 12:12 PM
Eric Livny
An excellent point, Salome! Both grants and cheap loans provide an opportunity to "nudge" people towards insurance.
Monday, 28 September 2015 12:12 PM
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Sep
11

Empowering Georgian ‘Plow Mothers’ (Gutnis Deda)

“The lion's whelps are equal be they male or female” – Shota Rustaveli    Giving women voice in company management may prove beneficial for performance. For instance, according to an influential Catalyst report, The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women’s Representation on Boards, “companies that achieve [gender] diversity and manage it well attain better financial results, on average, than other companies.” In particular, they find that firms with the most women board directors outperform those with the least on such indicator...
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