Images of empty shelves in grocery stores worldwide have emerged amid the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, this has had little to do with an actual shortage of food products but rather has reflected the behavior of panicked consumers who are hoarding food. While some earlier publications perceived no imminent threats from the pandemic to global food security, more recent articles called attention to proper policy responses to reduce the potential negative impacts of COVID-19 on local and global food systems and food security.
Assessment of the water policy needs and challenges to strengthen a long-term vision of the water policy framework of Georgia. Many countries of the Eurasia region have shown commitment to implement the principles of the EU Water Framework Directive and IWRM, and they tend to reform their water institutions and policies and develop river basin management plans in approximation with these principles.
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.
Since the Uruguay Round of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which introduced agriculture to the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) negotiation table, there has been increasing policy interest and academic debate on food safety regulations and their effect on the agri-food trade. During the Uruguay Round, WTO members negotiated the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards (SPSs) in the “SPS Agreement” and the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) agreements, which share common principles and rules with all member countries (Mayeda, 2004).
In the first quarter of 2020, BCI increased by 7.3 index points reaching 25.8. Business confidence improved across all sectors with the exception of the service industry. The largest growth was observed in agriculture, followed by the manufacturing industry. In both sectors, the increase in BCI was driven by improved past performance as well as more optimistic future expectations.