Zarovsha is a 49-year-old woman. She is married and has four children. She is an IDP (Internally Displaced Person) and lives with her family in the Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. She breeds cows and cattle and sells milk and milk products, as well as cattle for meat purposes to local butchers. She also raises sheep for meat purposes. Zarovsha has more than twenty years of experience in this field, thanks to her father who taught her the best way to look after cattle. Her husband works as builder and receives 80 AZN in salary, which is too low to support family.
Zarovsha usually buys small cattle, then raises and fattens them in 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 an income of 150 AZN per month. Milk and yoghurt, as well as beef and mutton, are very popular products in Azerbaijan. People use meat in everyday national dishes such as pilau and dolma and always use yoghurt sauce. Milk products are considered to be very healthy and also are present in everyday life.
This is only one financial income in her family and not enough to cover the basic needs of her beloved children. Zarovsha applied for a 1,200 AZN loan to purchase two calves and one dairy cow. This will be her fifth loan and she has positive loan history.
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.