Christopher Hitchens, one of the greatest public intellectuals of the last four decades, famously said 'The only way for any country to get out of poverty is the empowerment of women'. Everyone at ISET would no doubt agree with him – Professor Norberto Pignatti in particular, whose latest publication examines how increasing women's participation in the labor force is important for sustainable economic development in transition countries.
Just like Duddy Kravitz, Georgian men (and women) appear to be reluctant to part with their parcels of land, however small and unproductive. Whatever the reason, Georgia sees almost no structural change out of agriculture, and, as a result, very low productivity and income growth for the poorest strata of its population. As of today, employment (or, rather, under-employment) in agriculture is a staggering 45% of Georgia’s total labor force.
Currently, the Georgian agricultural sector is characterized by relatively low productivity (by international standards) and its contribution to the GDP of the country is much lower than what it could be, considering that 45%1 of the Georgian labor force is currently employed in agriculture.
In the globalized world of today, increasing national competitiveness has become an important policy target for any country. While engaging in mutually beneficial trade, technological and cultural exchanges, countries find themselves in a race for scarce mobile resources such as financial capital and talent.
At least on paper, Georgia has all it takes to be a successful agricultural producer: a favorable tax environment, mild climate, long growing season, inexpensive labor force, and abundant water resources.