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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Jun
22

The Impact of Food Safety Regulations on Agricultural Trade

From a trade perspective, the most important aspects of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, signed on 27 June 2014, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), are the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures and the food safety standards and technical regulations required for access to European markets. Georgia’s export to the EU is still rather limited, and one possible cause for this deficiency, amongst others, is the limited capacity to comply with food safety regulations and standards. The DCFTA is, moreover, different from othe...
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May
18

Agricultural Anti-Crisis Plan Assessment

Agricultural and rural development play an important role in the country’s socio-economic development. The restrictions imposed during the pandemic have hindered spring agricultural works which has significantly worsened conditions for farmers and stalled their future potential. Consequently, the Georgian government developed an anti-crisis plan, “Caring for Farmers and Agriculture”, that was presented on 12 March. The proposal entails two forms of aid: direct assistance and sectorial support. Table 1 summarizes each component of the plan: Table 1. Suppo...
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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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Jun
24

How Can You Be Sure? On the Agricultural Insurance in Georgia

  BACKGROUND Agricultural production is associated with a variety of risks, including market, institutional, and production risks. An important production factor in agriculture is the weather. Its uncontrollable nature makes weather risk the prevailing risk to agricultural production. Farmers have various informal and formal means of transferring and mitigating these risks. Informal means include savings, diversification, off-farm activities, etc. The most common formal means of risk mitigation is insurance. Insurance is a contract that transfers th...
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Apr
15

The “Achilles’ Heel” of Georgia’s Agriculture – Incomplete Land Registration

“We often preoccupy ourselves with the symptoms, whereas if we went to the root cause of the problems, we would be able to overcome the problems once and for all” – Wangari Muta Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 2004. LAND FRAGMENTATION – THE ROOT CAUSE “Commercialization of farmers can happen only if land consolidation occurs and farmers benefit from economies of scale” – Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Giorgi Kobulia stated at the Rural Conference 2019 held in Tbilisi last week. According to the latest agriculture census ...
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