Zergile is a 54-year-old woman, married with two children. She is on pension and her primarily business is breeding livestock. She breeds sheep and cattle and sells milk and milk products, as well as cattle for meat to local butchers. Zergile has more than 10 years of experience in this field, thanks to her father who taught her how best to look after cattle.
Zergile usually buys small cattle or lambs, raises and fattens them for 5-6 months and resells them for a more profitable price in the local livestock bazaar. She sells milk and yoghurt to the neighbors. Milk- and meat-selling brings 150 AZN in income per month. Milk and yoghurt, as well as meat, are very popular products in Azerbaijan. People use meat in everyday national dishes as pilau and dolma and always use yoghurt sauce. Milk products are considered as very healthy and are also present in everyday life.
This is only one financial income. Zergile applied for a loan of 1500 AZN to purchase one milk cow, one additional cow and five sheep. This will be her third loan from AqroInvest, and Zergile has a good client history. She wishes to save money and build her own house one day.
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.