ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Dec
14

COVID-19 and Food Safety in Georgia

“Food safety risks cannot be entirely eliminated but must be managed along the entire food chain, from farm to table. Reducing food safety risks requires collaboration across sectors, stakeholders and national borders” Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe. It has been almost a year since the world started struggling with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Countries follow the recommendations and precautions provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to prevent the spread of the virus. While various businesses, scho...
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Nov
30

Food Security and COVID-19 in Georgia

Food supply systems are crucial to the economies of most developing countries, supplying the largest share of food production, and constituting livelihoods and a key source of income for the majority of the population (FAO, 2020). It is therefore vital to maintain the steady flow of goods and services required from local and international food supply chains to ensure the health of the population, and to protect their incomes and livelihoods. Lockdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic have created logistical issues and posed challenges to the function of food s...
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Mar
09

Agriculture in Georgia: Are There Any Real Changes in the Sector?

After years of negligence, from 2012 onwards, Georgian agriculture returned to the spotlight. State funding for the sector grew from 85 mln. GEL in 2011 to more than 200 mln. GEL in the consecutive years, and up to 293 mln. GEL in 2020. The state launched more than ten agricultural support programs and established a separate agency, the Agricultural Projects Management Agency (APMA), in 2013 for their management. Those engaged in agriculture obviously welcome the increased state support to the sector, however many now question the results. The various ou...
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Jan
24

Earth Is not Cool, It Is Getting Hotter!!!

Did you know that: • the 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years? • average wildlife populations have dropped by 60% in just over 40 years (60% between 1970 and 2014)? • every year, nearly 1 million hectares (larger than New York City) of coastal ecosystems are destroyed? • in the past 20 years, 4.2 billion people have been affected by weather-related disasters, including a significant loss of lives? These and other broader changes such as rising sea levels, accelerating ice melt, shifting seasons, etc.  occurring on earth are...
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Dec
30

Food Prices are on Fire

In November 2019, prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages, as measured by the Food Price Index (FPI), drastically increased by 13.4% compared to November 2018 and contributed 4.02 percentage points to the change in the total Consumer Price Index (CPI). In recent months, annual food inflation marked at its highest level since August 2011 (Figure 1).1 Figure 1: Annual Food Price Inflation (January 2010-November 2019) Prices increased for all sub-categories of food and non-alcoholic beverages. The largest price increases were observed for fruits and gr...
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Jun
11

Sweet Little Lies – Things That Make Us “Happy”

  On May 17, 2017, the Georgian government adopted amendments to the Tobacco Control Law with 85 votes in favor, and only one against. This highly debated new regulation, which bans smoking in public places, was initiated by Parliament member Ms. Guguli Maghradze who just recently discussed the obesity problem in Georgia, which is caused partly by excess sugar consumption. Georgian public which is familiar with statements turning into law considered Ms. Maghradze’s statement as a prelude to enacting a sugar tax in Georgia. During the informal interv...
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