Tofiq is 52 years old and a very kind and friendly man. He is married and has one son. He has been raising sheep for the last ten years. He sells them for mutton, which is very popular among local people. Many popular dishes like dolma and pilov are made of mutton. People consider it to be very healthy and digestible.
Tofiq usually buys small lambs, raises and fattens them, and sells them for a profitable price. His monthly income is 200 AZN and this is the only income in his family. Keeping the family and covering the needs of his child is a very hard job.
Also, looking after animals is much harder and requires spending a lot of time outside. The climate in the region is harsh, but Tofiq is a very positive man and hopes to earn enough to provide a better life for his beloved child.
He applied for a 1,200 AZN loan in order to purchase fifteen sheep to cover his market demand. As summer is very close, it is a good time to fatten lambs and sell them for profitable prices for wedding parties, of which there are a lot during this season. This will be Tofiq’s second loan and he has a positive client history.
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.