ISET

Agricultural input subsidy programs are meant to increase crop production, contributing in this way to improved food security and rise of incomes of stallholder farmers. An important goal of such programs is to develop efficient input supply systems, improving farmers’ access to inputs and adoption of new technologies (e.g., use of new seed varieties, fertilizers, and pesticides). Nevertheless, because of high opportunity cost of subsidies for other public goods and social transfers, these programs are widely debated in the literature.

Georgia has been implementing the Agricultural Card Program since February 2013. Farmers received vouchers for plowing and purchasing agricultural inputs. The budget of the program was 290 million GEL in 2013. It was reduced to 90 million GEL in 2014 and to 50 million GEL in 2015 and 2016.

Our investigation shows that the program was not properly targeted, neither geographically nor by poverty considerations. Moreover, farmers worry about more severe problems than plowing and fertilizing; problems related to irrigation (mostly in East Georgia) and difficulties in marketing of agricultural products (mostly in West Georgia) was stated to be the primary concern.

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Since September, 2014, the ISET Policy Institute has been working with the German Economic Team (GET). In May,2015 ISET-PI and GET extended their partnership and began working on a variety of policy briefs for Georgia's industrial development. These briefs will simultaneously advance research in the sector and provide the Georgian government a set of guidelines for the development of its own policy, exploring where Georgia's comparative advantages lie. The German Economic Team is a consulting group who provides advisory services to the Georgian government on economic policy and is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

 

 

Policy Briefs

  • ENPARD Annual Cooperative Survey Results

    On 14 July 2017, ENPARD implementing organisation CARE and its partner ISET Policy Institute (ISET-PI), in cooperation with other ENPARD implementing partners (Oxfam, Mercy Corps, People in Need and UNDP Adjara) presented the results of ENPARD Cooperatives Survey, which assesses the performance of EU-supported cooperatives for the period 2014-2016. The results are based on the data collected by four ENPARD implementer consortia (led by CARE, Oxfam, Mercy Corps and People in Read More
  • Fiscal Policy After the Parliamentary Elections

    Economic reforms announced in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in October 2016 raised concerns about whether Georgia was departing from its path of prudent fiscal policy. A reform of the corporate profit tax and increased infrastructure investment were driving expectations of a 6% of GDP budget deficit in 2017, endangering Georgia’s macroeconomic stability and its reputation with investors. After winning the elections, the “Georgian Dream” coalition has undertaken significant efforts towards keeping the budget deficit at bay. The deficit Read More
  • Access to Finance for Agricultural Cooperatives

    The Forum took place on 29 November 2016 in the framework of the EU-funded European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) in order to discuss some the key challenges Georgia’s agricultural cooperatives face with regard to access to finance. Please see the conference programme and presentations (listed below). This was the fourth in a series of policy dialogues about agriculture and rural development organized by the CARE consortium, which Read More
  • The Exchange Rates of the Georgian Lari and the Armenian Dram in Comparison, 2014-2015

    Both Georgia and Armenia have been subject to negative external economic shocks, particularly through remittances and exports, in 2014 and 2015, yet the macroeconomic adjustment of the countries appears to have been different. While the GDP growth of both countries remained relatively stable at around 3% in both years, the exchange rate of the Georgian Lari (GEL) depreciated by a 29% in 2014-2015 compared to 15% for the Armenian Dram (AMD). Read More
  • Tea Cooperatives' Round Table Discussion

    On June 3 2016, a Round Table Discussion of Tea Cooperatives was held in Kutaisi. This was the third event in a series of dialogues about agriculture and rural development in Georgia organized by ISET Policy Institute (ISET-PI) in partnership with CARE International, the Regional Development Association and the Georgian Farmers Association, with support from the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD). This meeting, which was a continuation Read More
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