On June 21 2019, ISET’s Rati Kochlamazashvili moderated the Farmers’ Congress, which took place at the Hualing Hotel in Tbilisi. The congress discussed the Challenges and Opportunities of Strengthening Market Linkages for Smallholder Farmers.

The event was organized by ‘Bridge - Innovation and Development (BRIDGE)’ and ‘International Organization People in Need (PIN)’ within the framework of the EU-funded ‘Civil Society Organizations Supporting Free Trade with European Union’ program.

The main goal of the congress was to support dialogue between farmers, state bodies and the private sector (specifically hypermarket and supermarket chains), the latter being one of the prerequisites for the development of the agricultural sector. The participants discussed the challenges farmers face in the process of selling their products on the local market. The congress also brought to attention a number of successful cases and gave a chance to smallholder farmers to establish new contacts with retailers for future collaboration.

On March 20 2019, Pati Mamardashvili presented at the meeting of the Agricultural Innovation Committee of the Georgian Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The meeting was attended by members of the academy, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture.

The topic of the presentation was the agricultural export potential of Georgia.The presentation showed the calculation results of revealed comparative advantage indices for different agricultural products in Georgia for the last 15 years; this provided useful insights in ex-post export performance of these products. In addition, Pati’s presentation overviewed recent trends in agricultural exports, disaggregated by the selected group of countries (in this case, EU and CIS countries). While the total exports from Georgia to the EU constitutes an increasing trend, agricultural export decreased in 2017 and 2018, due to a significant decline in hazelnut exports. However, wine exports to CIS countries were observed to be on the rise in recent years.

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