Ilham is 36 years old and is a very kind and active man. He is married and has two children. He has raised sheep for the last 8 years. He sells them for mutton, which is very popular among the local people. Many popular dishes like dolma and pilov are made of mutton. People consider it very healthy and digestible.
Ilham usually buys small lambs, raises and fattens them and sells them for a profitable price. His monthly income is 240 AZN and this is the only source of financial income for his family. Keeping his family and covering the needs of children is a very hard job. Also looking after the animals is much harder and requires spending a lot of time outside. The climate in the region is harsh, bur Ilham is a very positive man and hopes to earn enough to provide a better life for his beloved children.
Ilham applied for a 1800 AZN loan to purchase 20 sheep to cover market demand. As summer is very close, it is a good time to fatten the lambs and sell them for a profitable price for wedding parties, which are popular during this season.
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.