Zumrud is a 46-year-old married woman with two children. She's been growing seasonal fruits and vegetables for the last 7 years. During autumn, winter and spring she primarily grows pumpkins. Pumpkin is a very popular product, and people consider it as one of the healthiest. People use it in national dishes such as qutab and pilau. One of the main positive features of pumpkin is that it can stand for more than two months and not rot. Zumrud usually sells her crops in the central bazaar as well as to neighbors. Her monthly income is 350 Azerbaijani manats (AZN).
Now Zumrud wants to increase the number of products she sells. She needs additional capital to invest in her business to buy seeds and fertilizers. AqroInvest Credit Union provided her with a 1000 AZN loan.
Aqroinvest Credit Union was founded by a group of 32 Imishli farmers in 2001, and has grown to become one of the largest credit unions in Azerbaijan. It boasts a portfolio of nearly $5 million and is wholly owned by its more than 3,500 borrowers, as of December 2011.