Alasgar is a 27 year-old, young and pensioned man. He is married and lives in one house with his parents. He has raised seasonal fruits and vegetables for the last 12 years. His father was his best teacher to learn how to look after land and raise organic crops.
Fruits and vegetables are very popular among Azerbaijani people and they use them in everyday meals. They use them fresh as well as cooked, as vegetables with meat (Dolma). His monthly income is 250 AZN and he usually sells his crop in the central bazaar.
He applied for 1000 AZN loan to purchase more seeds, fertilizers and garden tools to improve the quality of his crop and increase his monthly turnover.
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.