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This website is developed in the frame of the AGRICISTRADE research project, supported by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7). AGRICISTRADE aims at analyzing the current and potential developments for agricultural and biomass trade between the EU and eight of its eastern neighbor-countries, namely, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.


The central aim of the project is to provide insights into the agricultural production potentials in the 8 countries of interest, and to determine how an improved use of the presently untapped possibilities in these countries will affect international markets under evolving demand changes. A systematic, thorough approach is needed to assess current constraints in the agricultural sectors, to project future agricultural production and trade developments, and to analyze the possible implications for the EU and international markets.

Therefore, AGRICISTRADE has been structured around 4 research objectives:

  • Improve the understanding of the agri-food sector performance in the context of relevant policy measures at stake in the 8 countries covered by the project
  • Better understand the causes of untapped agricultural production potentials and suggest pathways for enhancing yields, land use and competitive performances
  • Explore current and possible future developments in agricultural supply chains as well as developments in the different types of usage
  • Enhance the analytical framework for future scenario assessments of medium- and long-term developments of the agri-food potentials and trade in order to understand what role the 8 countries could play in European and international exchanges


January 2014 to December 2016

Expected results

AGRICISTRADE will develop a comprehensive statistics and policy information database, further used to monitor the sector structure, market and policy situation, and to assess current performance. The database and evaluation results will provide input for projections on agricultural potential and implications for international trade, with a specific focus on trade relations between the EU and the 8 countries of interest. In that goal, the project will use a variety of analytical tools combining economic and biophysical models. The project will deliver the following outputs:

  • Comprehensive set of country and regional data on agricultural sectors differentiating between different uses like food, feed, and biomass for non-agricultural use, and information including agricultural, trade and other relevant policies for agricultural development
  • Thorough analysis of the causes of untapped agricultural production potential in the 8 countries, to better understand the production and yield potential constraints
  • Analysis of supply chains performances and the identification of factors that constrain their economic potentials
  • Exploration of critical development paths to improved use of potentials addressing the question whether and if so, how international competitive agri-food clusters can develop in the 8 countries
  • Scenario projections for agricultural production, use and trade in the medium and long-term for each of the 8 countries, with special emphasis on the implications for the international market and for the EU, and special reference to potential deep and comprehensive free trade agreements (DCFTAs)

Management team

WP1. Statistical database and inventory of policies Tina Volk (KIS)
WP2. Country reviews Sébastien Poulain (EQY)
WP3. Untapped potentials of agricultural production Petr Havlik (IIASA)
WP4. Competitive chains in food/biomass on international markets Ivan Djuric (IAMO)
WP5. Toolbox development Martin Banse (TI)
WP6. Scenario analysis for production and trade developments Siemen Van Berkum (LEI)
WP7. Recommendations and dissemination Sébastien Poulain (EQY)
WP8. Management and coordination Hélène Bourgade (EQY)


DG Research
Barna Kovacs
Phone: +32 229 99296
Project manager (Euroquality)
Sébastien Poulain
Phone: +33 556 528 926

Project fact-sheet

Call for proposals FP7.KBBE.2013.1.4-10
Topic Description(from the Work Programme)  Agriculture and trade development in EU’s Eastern Neighbors

The aim of this topic is to gain a better understanding of the agricultural production potential and the role it could play for Europe and internationally. Several countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have sizable agricultural sectors. This does not apply only to Ukraine and Russia which are major players in the arable crop sector on world markets but also other countries such as Moldova which is an important fruit and vegetable and wine producer and exporter.In a world where long-term food security is an issue –feeding the world population by 2050 – it is important to look at untapped potential for food, feed and biomass. The sheer weight of the agricultural sector in Russia and in Ukraine and the implication for international and EU trade call for a better knowledge and monitoring of current and potential development of their sector. The need for an appropriate knowledge applies obviously to the grain sector, for which Russia and Ukraine are strong competitors on world markets, but extends, for example, to their potential to produce biomass for material and energy use, to the market for certified organic production, to the restructuring of the processing industry and the implications for the future competitiveness of these countries and potential foreign direct investment. The development of international trade in agriculture of these countries depends upon the dynamics of the sectors but also on their participation in trade agreements. This concerns the EU with which so-called Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTA) are being negotiated and also intra-regional trade with the customs union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.The research project will aim at investigating the development of the agriculture, food and non-food sectors and of the policies implemented in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. The investigation will cover in full details the major sectors in these countries. More specifically, it will address biomass availability and possible trade opportunities for the European bioeconomy. All policies with a bearing on the development of the sector will be analyzed (the various elements of agricultural policy, trade policy, industrial policy, macro-economic policy, etc.) In addition, the policy analysis will extend to all areas which are important for trade and business development, such as: Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) standards, tax policy, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), contract enforcement, business development service providers, etc.The findings of the policy analysis relevant for ERAWATCH will be made available in a form suitable for integration, etc. In order to provide insights on medium-term possible development, modeling of the sector in the major countries (in particular Ukraine and Russia) on the basis of partial equilibrium model will be explored.Regarding trade in agriculture and food products, the potential/actual impact of the DCFTAs with the EU will be analyzed through economic modeling. The impact of the Customs Union between Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan on the investment climate as well as bilateral trade relations with the EU will be analyzed also.Expected impact: The project will provide useful insights in sectoral and policy developments in the concerned countries. It will also deliver simulations / impacts of bilateral trade agreements. This will entail better informed bilateral trade relations between these countries and the EU.
Instrument Collaborative Project (small or medium-scale focused research project)
Project officer Barna Kovacs (DG Research) – Phone: +32 229 99296
Duration 3 years, from the 1st of January 2014 to the 31st of December 2016
Project summary Exploring potential for agricultural and biomass trade with the EUThe negotiations on Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements between the EU, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, the accession of Russia to the World Trade Organization in 2012 and the establishment of a Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan in 2011 were expected to boost trade relations between the European Union and its Eastern Neighbors. Despite the recent changes in political and economic interactions observed over the last years, the aim of AGRICISTRADE has been to accompany these developments by analyzing the potential impact of those trade agreements and by delivering insights into the potential developments of the food, feed and biomass sectors in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. Hence, AGRICISTRADE contributes to the analysis of the present situation, the potentials and the projection of future agri-food developments.This project is expected to improve the understanding of present agricultural and food processing sectors in the 8 countries above, by collecting and evaluating statistical data and related policies. Based on its multidisciplinary expertise, the AGRICISTRADE consortium investigates agro-ecological, socio-economic and institutional bottlenecks to exploit the agricultural potentials in 8 eastern neighbor-countries of the EU, and will show the implications of policy interventions for development perspectives of a number of selected supply chains. AGRICISTRADE also improves existing biophysical and economic modeling tools by enhancing their empirical base and regional representation, and develops a framework for assessing agricultural production and demand potentials in the 8 countries.Modeling tools will be used to quantify and analyze the impact of market developments, technology and policy scenarios on agricultural production, demand and trade in those countries, specifically addressing the implications of these scenarios for the EU agri-food sector. The project results will contribute to a fact-based and well-informed dialogue among EU policy makers on possible impacts of a DCFTA on agricultural development potentials of the 8 countries addressed.

Project partners

# Country Organization Name Principal Investigator
1 France Euroquality SARL (EQY) Sébastien Poulain
2 The Netherlands Agricultural Economics Research Institute (DLO) Siemen Van Berkum
3 Germany Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO) Axel Wolz
4 Slovenia Agricultural Institute of Slovenia (KIS) Tina Volk
5 Lithuania Lithuanian Institute of Agrarian Economics (LAEI) Jolanta Drozdz
6 Germany Johann Heinrich von Thuenen Institute, Federal Research Institute of Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries (TI) Martin Banse
7 Austria International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) Petr Havlik
8 Belgium Joint Research Centre – European Commission (JRC) Guna Salputra
9 Armenia International Centre for Agribusiness Research and Education Foundation (ICARE) Vardan Urutyan
10 Azerbaijan Research Institute of Agricultural Economics (IEOA) Namig Shalbuzov
11 Belarus Research Centre of the Institute for Privatization and Management (IPM) Alexander Chubrik
12 Georgia The Fund Georgian Centre for Agribusiness Development (GCAD) Aleqsandre Bluashvili
13 Kazakhstan Analytical Centre of Economic Policy in Agricultural Sector (ACEPAS) Ruslan Syzdykov
14 Republic of Moldova Institute of Economics, Finance and Statistics (IEFS) Victor Moroz
15 Russian Federation Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR) Dmitri Rylko
16 Ukraine Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting Civic Organization (IER) Oleg Nivievskyi
17 Slovenia University of Ljubljana (UL) Emil Erjavec
EC European Commission – DG Research Barna Kovacs


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