ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
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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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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Recent Comments
Irakli Kochlamazashvili
A good case on second level (or second-tier) cooperative from Peru: http://ica.coop/en/media/co-operative-stories/peruvian-coopera... Read More
Tuesday, 10 November 2015 7:07 PM
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
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Oct
17

Thin but Strong: Georgian Silk

DEEP ROOTS Silk production, or sericulture, has deep Georgian roots, going all the way back to King Vakhtang Gorgasali, who not only founded Tbilisi in the 5th century A.D. but also introduced Georgia to silk (and silkworms), which he brought from India.  Silk production is as rooted in Georgia as are wine and honey. According to a survey conducted in 1848, some 210,000 Georgian families were involved in silk production. The industry went into a deep crisis in 1860s, when the ancient Caucasian species of silkworm was practically wiped out by a disea...
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Pati Mamardashvili
So, people of Guria not only have the greatest sense of humor (as commonly known in Georgia) but also seem to be very entrepreneur... Read More
Tuesday, 20 October 2015 6:06 PM
Eric Livny
A great point, Pati. Trying and failing is a great experience!
Tuesday, 20 October 2015 7:07 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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Mar
26

What Happens When Institutions are Designed to Provide Bullet-proof Protection against Fraud?

DESIGNING LIBRARIES  “Shock and awe” is a US military term describing the use of overwhelming power to demoralize the enemy, as applied by the American military in Iraq. “Shock and awe” would also aptly describe my emotional state when I entered, at the age of 23, the magnificent reading room at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. This was the moment when I – a former paratrooper and an officer with one of Israel’s security services – understood how badly I want to acquire an education. Not technical knowledge or skills, but an education.    ...
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Guest — Simon Appleby
Co-op size of 3-5 members makes perfect sense for the current Georgian reality. People related by blood or marriage, who have long... Read More
Thursday, 26 March 2015 3:03 PM
Guest — Nikita
Coop growth diagnosticsCan you answer the following questions?1. Why do Georgian farmers form coops? Do they want to grow their bu... Read More
Friday, 27 March 2015 5:05 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Thanks for asking these questions, Nikita... I like the approach of tacking the so-called binding constraint(s), which would of co... Read More
Friday, 27 March 2015 7:07 PM
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Nov
21

Agricultural Cooperatives Fishing for Competitiveness

Located in a beautiful gorge between Nabeghlavi and Bakhmaro, Chkhakaura village is home to tough Guruli trout fishermen. The village is difficult to reach even in a sturdy 4x4 SUV, but this does not prevent locals from taking advantage of dilapidated Soviet infrastructure and unique natural conditions to grow trout. They are five men, ages 20 to 45, who have been in joint trout farming business for more than 4 years, selling fish, roe and fry in the nearby Nabeghlavi and Bakhmaro villages. Nabeghlavi and Bakhmaro happen to be premier Georgian mineral wa...
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Guest — Eric Livny
Yes, a new government agency created to register farmer coops...
Saturday, 22 November 2014 12:12 AM
Guest — RT
Is ACDA an agency of the Georgian government?
Friday, 21 November 2014 9:09 PM
Guest — Sulkhan Khalvashi
Dear Eric,Can you share "Samegobro 2014”'s contact information?I represent the company who is interested in buying products from l... Read More
Monday, 24 November 2014 12:12 PM
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