ISET continues its student policy paper seminar series for the institute's second-year students. This time, Ketevan Bochorishvili, Natia Maisuradze, Nami Surguladze, Orkhan Suleymanli and Nijat Guliyev presented their joint paper on agricultural development.

The students opened by that the slow growth in agricultural sector of Georgia is a subject of ongoing debate. Their cross comparison of agricultural indicators showed that while agricultural development in Georgia predictably lags behind that of Germany and the United States, it also falls behind Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Ukraine, and the Kyrgyz Republic. While 50 percent of employment is in agriculture, agriculture accounts for just 10 percent of the country's GDP, which clearly shows the utter inefficiency of agriculture in Georgia.

“The Economics of Nature. Can Georgia afford Economic Growth without Taking Care of its Nature?” was the title of a panel discussion jointly organized by GIZ and ISET, and examined an important issue facing the country.

Pavan Sukhdev, the coordinator of the global TEEB (The Economy of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) Study, and Kavita Sharma, the leader of the TEEB Scoping Study for Georgia, held keynote presentations outlining international experiences regarding TEEB. The event highlighted the economic importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services, emphasized the relations between these services and development goals, and provoked a discussion on the greening of economies as a new, sustainable engine for economic growth.

On May 19 2017, at the Radisson Blu Iveria hotel, the Agriculture Policy Research Center (APRC) of the ISET Policy Institute (ISET-PI) presented two reports regarding “The Georgian Tea Value Chain Study” and “The Georgian Trout Value Chain Study” value chain analyses.

The Tea Value Chain Study assesses a variety of challenges and opportunities facing the Georgian tea sector. Plantations are over¬grown and enterprises engaged in processing are undercapitalized. Furthermore, given the nature of global competition, it has been challenging for Georgian producers and processors to gain a foot¬hold on both the local and international markets. Georgia is currently a net importer of tea, which is surprising consider¬ing the sector’s rich history and potential. In this study, the authors assess a variety of challenges and opportunities facing the Georgian tea sector, and provided recommendations for the sector’s development.

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