Agriculture makes an important contribution to economic development in Georgia. Value added in agriculture accounted for 9.3% of Georgian GDP in 2013 and 53.4% of employment (World Bank, 2014a). Agriculture also provides an essential basis for the food, beverages, and tobacco processing industries, which together accounted for just over one-third of value-added in manufacturing in Georgia in 2010 (World Bank, 2014a). Hence, overall agricultural and food production in Georgia accounts for roughly 14% of GDP.
In addition, agriculture growth is closely linked to the alleviation of poverty, which is especially concentrated in rural areas in Georgia. While 14.8% of the Georgian population lived below the national poverty line in 2012, this share was only 10.5% in urban areas, but 18.8% in rural areas. Numerous studies have demonstrated that agricultural growth is an especially effective means of reducing poverty: according to evidence cited in the World Development Report (World Bank, 2008), growth in agriculture is 3.5 times more effective in reducing poverty than growth outside of agriculture in China; in Latin America agricultural growth is 2.7 times more effective.
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 that provides advisory services to the Georgian government on economic policy and is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.