On June 22 2017, the Agricultural Policy Research Center (APRC) of the ISET Policy Institute organized a meeting with former Agricultural Concentration students. As is well-known, the APRC was established at the ISET Policy Institute in July 2014 with a three-year grant from USAID to enhance synergy between policy research, professional training, and teaching activities, capitalizing on the institutional strengths of ISET and ISET-PI. The APRC functions in conjunction with the Agricultural Economics Concentration in the ISET MA program. The purpose of the concentration is to educate the next generation of policy leaders in Georgia who understand the complexities, challenges and tradeoffs behind policy decisions in the agricultural sector.

“Education is the biggest value for farmers.”

With these words, Zaza Keresidze, ENPARD's coordinator (from People in Need – PIN) in the region of Racha, Georgia welcomed ISET graduate students during a field trip organized by the Agricultural Policy Research Center (APRC) of the ISET Policy Institute.

The two-day field trip to Racha (a highland area in western Georgia, located in the upper Rioni river valley and hemmed in by the Greater Caucasus mountains), included visits to Blauenstein Georgia and the Natural Products of Racha agricultural cooperative, during which local representatives of the farm and cooperative introduced ISET students to the current operations, capacities, and highlights of their respective enterprises.

The students first visited Blauenstein Georgia, which is composed of a local farm complex in Racha, a meat processing plant, and the Blauenstein Brand shop in Tbilisi. The company’s local representatives conducted a small tour which started in the slaughterhouse and continued on to the farm.

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