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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Jun
22

Georgian Consumers Outsmarting Supermarket Managers?

Seasons change, and so do Georgian food prices. In the second week of June, Georgia’s major food retail networks (Carrefour, Goodwill, Fresco and SPAR) lowered their prices by an average of 3.9% y/y and 1.8% m/m. Compared to the end of May, prices moved the most for the following food items: eggplant (-21%), pasta (-10.3%) and coffee (-5.7%); wheat flour (+11%), buckwheat (+10.5%) and garlic (+6.8%). THE LAW OF ONE PRICE … WHAT LAW? Why should exactly the same product sell at dramatically different prices in different shops? It shouldn’t. At least that’s...
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Simon Appleby
It is good that you mention the issue of loss leaders. In Europe, America and Australia, farmers and processors are regularly outr... Read More
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 11:11 AM
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Apr
30

We May Not Be Hungry, but We Are Starving...

It is a well known fact that nearly a half of Georgian population is involved in agriculture, while Georgia imports around 60% of all the food it consumes. High food import share and food security  are important issues for Georgia, widely discussed among the policy makers and in the media. One issue that remains largely in the shadows of public attention is Georgia’s struggle with nutritional deficiencies and unhealthy, undiversified diets.  Surveys show that bread is one of the main sources of calories in Georgian diets, accounting for as much...
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Florian Biermann
(1) I am surprised that Georgians are eating that much starchy food. I always thought that countries where people eat a lot of bre... Read More
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 10:10 AM
Guest — Yasya
Florian, you are right, food supplements can be very important for poor countries. We discussed this issue in an earlier blog, in ... Read More
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 11:11 AM
Nodar
This is nice article and it more or less perfectly describes diversity of food and makes comparison between various countries and... Read More
Friday, 06 May 2016 10:10 AM
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Apr
05

XXI Century Arrives to Kakheti, with soplidan.ge

Have you ever had a problem of buying healthy products or being lazy to go shopping in open air bazaar? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to order natural and fresh food that gets delivered straight to your door that is not of the fast-food, take-away variety? There might just be reason for optimism with the story of soplidan.ge (“from the village”).  This is a story of a small-business with an innovative idea. Soplidan is the first Georgian internet portal to offer online shopping for agricultural products. Consumers can choose goods they wa...
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Nana Moutafidou
Ia, praise is all yours! Very nice article. The Kakhetian girls do a very good job. A great example for entrepreneurial initiative... Read More
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 10:10 AM
Eric Livny
Ia, I am just curious, how do they solve the transportation problem? Isnt it too expensive for them to transport small quantities ... Read More
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 12:12 PM
Nana Moutafidou
Eric, this is stuff to answer in a new article
Thursday, 07 April 2016 3:03 AM
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Mar
19

Georgian Farmer: From Nonperforming Landowner towards Agricultural Performer

Graph 1 shows the density of Georgian farmers’ revenues received from selling their produce, generated from the sample of 3,000 Georgian rural households. (For the motivation and methodology of our study, please refer to the article that was published here last week. It is also available online on the ISET Economist Blog: “Dumb Farmers Do Not Grow Big Potatoes”, by Florian Biermann and Ruediger Heining).  When the curve of the graph is high, it means that there are many farmers in the respective income range. When it is low, there are few. With...
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Eric Livny
I like the article, but dont agree with the caption under the picture. Why is smallholder agriculture necessarily ineffective? Wha... Read More
Tuesday, 22 March 2016 6:06 PM
Pati Mamardashvili
I liked the classification of Georgian farmers based on the stages of entrepreneurship. These stages (subsistence, local, intermed... Read More
Friday, 25 March 2016 11:11 AM
Guest — MichaelKortenbusch
I agree with Erics comment, that being a smallholder does not exclude from being efficient. The main difference between small and ... Read More
Monday, 28 March 2016 11:11 AM
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Mar
14

A Portrait of a Tushetian Farmer as an Entrepreneur

We first met Gogi Elanidze in winter 2015, when interviewing farmers in Rati’s village, Kvemo Alvani. Located in Akhmeta municipality, Kvemo Alvani and its twin, Zemo Alvani, are not your usual Kakhetian villages. The two serve as the winter base for the people of Tusheti, an isolated valley separated from Kakheti by the 3000m high Abano mountain pass. Getting settled. Kvemo Alvani’s rectangular shape and straight parallel streets betray a fairly recent, Soviet or...
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Mar
12

Dumb Farmers Do Not Grow Big Potatoes

This week, the Georgian public was shocked when a gross lack of competence and aptitude among the country’s teachers was unveiled.  As DFWatch.net reports on March 10th (quoting a Georgian source), of the 10,552 teachers registered for a competence check that took place in January, only 6,477 showed up in the first place, and of these, only 1,101 passed the test. However, the Georgian economy is struck by severe deficits in knowledge and skills in many sectors, and to find such examples, one does not have to look at industries that operate close to ...
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Nodar
At first glance, anyone who reads this post come up the question: how can we explain this approximately constant productivity in a... Read More
Sunday, 13 March 2016 10:10 AM
Eric Livny
Dear Nodar, I certainly agree that a lack of investment is a major issue. Its just that investment is also constrained by a lack o... Read More
Sunday, 13 March 2016 5:05 PM
Nodar
I completely agree to you point of view professor Livny. The lack of that knowledge as you said can be considered as the origin al... Read More
Sunday, 13 March 2016 7:07 PM
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