Natavan is a 45-year-old married woman with three children. She is an internally displaced person (IDP) and lives in Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. Natavan has bred cattle for the last 10 years. She was a housewife and her husband`s salary as a laborer was too low to cover the family's needs, so Natavan decided to purchase her first cow.
Natavan usually buys small calves, raises and fattens them for 5-6 months and then resells them for a more profitable price in the livestock bazaar. Her monthly income is 70 AZN. Meat is in very high demand in Azerbaijan and people use it in everyday dishes like pilau and dolma. Natavan also keeps milk cows for personal use and for selling homemade milk and yoghurt to neighbors.
She wants to expand her business and improve the life conditions of her family. She applied for a 1500 AZN loan to purchase two beef cows, one milk cow and fodder.
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.