ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Oct
03

Georgian Wine: Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best

"You mean there's a catch?""Sure there's a catch", Doc Daneeka replied. "Catch-22. Anyone who [claims he is crazy because he] wants to get out of combat duty isn't really crazy."Joseph Heller, Catch 22 Пока гром не грянет, мужик не перекрестится.Русская народная пословица   The Georgian wine industry had a couple of very good years in 2013 and 2014, following the opening of the Russian market. Exports skyrocketed, prices of grapes followed suit. For all the talk about diversification, within just two years, Russia’s share in the total exports o...
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Eric Livny
Thanks, Simon, both for the compliments and the very useful comments and links!
Saturday, 03 October 2015 7:07 PM
Simon Appleby
Your article raises very interesting arguments, well done!Grape prices in Georgia in 2013/4 rtveli were higher than that of South ... Read More
Saturday, 03 October 2015 6:06 PM
Guest — BekaGonashvili
Subsidies are making even "lazy" Georgian Farmer's to be more lazy!Governmental subsidies should go Mostly in Marketing, Research,... Read More
Saturday, 03 October 2015 9:09 PM
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Sep
26

Georgian Farmers Playing Russian Roulette

On August 20, 2015 a strong hailstorm hit Georgia, devastating crops and infrastructure in eastern Kakheti. In Kvareli alone, the hailstorm destroyed about 1,300ha of Saperavi and 1,000ha of Rkatsiteli grapes, affecting more than 500 families. This was only one in a string of natural disasters striking Georgian farmers in recent years. One of the worst calamities occurred in July 2012, when heavy rain, strong winds, hail and floods damaged thousands of hectares of arable land in Kakheti, ripping roofs and destroying vital infrastructure.   Whil...
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Irakli Kochlamazashvili
Very good piece, indeed! One fact I would like to underline is that (it is mentioned in the blog also), on the one hand, the mini... Read More
Saturday, 26 September 2015 8:08 PM
Eric Livny
An excellent point, Salome! Both grants and cheap loans provide an opportunity to "nudge" people towards insurance.
Monday, 28 September 2015 12:12 PM
Salome Gelashvili
Majority of Georgian companies do not have reinsurance most probably because of small portfolios and reinsurance costs. Since por... Read More
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 10:10 AM
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Sep
11

Empowering Georgian ‘Plow Mothers’ (Gutnis Deda)

“The lion's whelps are equal be they male or female” – Shota Rustaveli    Giving women voice in company management may prove beneficial for performance. For instance, according to an influential Catalyst report, The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women’s Representation on Boards, “companies that achieve [gender] diversity and manage it well attain better financial results, on average, than other companies.” In particular, they find that firms with the most women board directors outperform those with the least on such indicator...
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Jul
17

Tea: a Potential Gold Mine of Georgian Agriculture?

The first tea bushes appeared in Western Georgia in 1847, and since then tea production has played a significant, yet widely unknown, role in Georgia’s history. The humid and subtropical climate of Western Georgia in the regions of Guria, Samegrelo, Adjara, Imereti and Abkhazia are ideal for harvesting tea, and this was a fact eventually recognized by businessmen outside Georgia. With a commission to produce tea in the country, Lao Jin Jao, an experienced tea farmer, arrived from China in 1893. By 1900, the tea he was producing was world-class in quality...
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Guest — Lasha Lanchava
Amazing piece! It is indeed sad that so much cultural, social and economic potential tea sector has is being wasted. Looks like a ... Read More
Friday, 17 July 2015 5:05 PM
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Jul
13

Where Is the Free Lunch?

 DOES GEORGIA BENEFIT (OR NOT) FROM THE DROP IN INTERNATIONAL FOOD PRICES? An average Georgian household spends more than 40% of its budget on food. It therefore stands to reason that Georgian consumers are quite sensitive to food prices, which may be very good news considering recent developments in global commodity markets. According to the latest World Bank’s Food Price Watch, “international food prices declined by 14% between August 2014 and May 2015, sliding into a five-year low.” For lower-middle income households this could result in a 6% inc...
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Jun
01

Is Small (And Medium) All That Beautiful?

  Most development practitioners subscribe to the view that vibrant small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) are crucial for the health of a country’s economy. The SME sector is crucial, the argument goes, because it creates employment and serves as a hotbed of entrepreneurial talent. Additionally, SMEs are often seen as a source of new, fast growing industries, contributing to a price-reducing and quality-improving competition with large and old firms that tend to dominate markets in small countries such as Georgia. For example, a 2011 report prepa...
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Guest — Simon Appleby
Rezo Vashakidze's statement about 50% of the population being smallholder farmers is out of date. According to the last census, on... Read More
Monday, 01 June 2015 9:09 AM
Guest — Eric Livny
The point I was trying to make in this article – but perhaps failed – is NOT that Georgia does not need SMEs. My point is that the... Read More
Monday, 01 June 2015 12:12 PM
Guest — Angela Prigozhina
1. I do agree that distribution of subsidies to agriculture subsistence farmers has nothing to do with productivity growth and job... Read More
Monday, 01 June 2015 2:02 PM
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