Mammadali is a 34-year-old man, who has engaged in farming for the last six years. He is an Internally Displaced Person. He is married and has three sons. He grows pomegranates and seasonal vegetables and sells them in the local market. This is a profitable business, especially his pomegranates, which are popular not only in Azerbijan, but also in Russia. This product is in high demand.
His monthly income from his business is 200 AZN and this is the only financial income for his family. He has applied for a loan of 1500 AZN to purchase fertilizers and seeds as well as garden tools and to improve his irrigation system.
Aqroinvest Credit Union was founded in 2001 by a group of 32 farmers from Imishli. It has since grown to become the largest credit union in Azerbaijan, owned by its more than 5,400 borrowers and boasting a portfolio of nearly US$12 million.
AqroInvest is focused on providing loans to the following groups of people: rural farmers, people living in distant southern villages with little or no access to finance and internally displaced people and refugees, many of whom lost their homes and livelihoods during the violent conflicts in the 1990s.
In May 2011, Aqroinvest started a new project with Kiva proving higher education loans to students. The project gives students the support and financing they need to continue their education and helps pay for tuition fees at various universities in Azerbaijan. Aqroinvest is the first credit union in the country to offer students loans.