Ramil is a 32-year-old man who is married with one daughter. He is an internally displaced person (IDP) and lives with his family in the Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. He breeds cows and cattle and sells milk and milk products as well as the cattle meat to local butchers. Ramil’s father taught him how to look after cattle and he now has more than 10 years of experience in this field. He receives 70 AZN monthly in financial support from the government, but this amount is too low to cover his family’s needs.
Ramil usually buys small cattle, raises and fattens them for five to six months and resells them for a profit in the local livestock bazaar. He sells milk and yoghurt to his neighbors. Selling milk and meat provides Ramil with 100 AZN per month. Milk, yoghurt, and meat are very popular products in Azerbaijan as they are used in everyday national dishes. Milk products are also considered very healthy.
Ramil earns the only income for his family and it is not enough to cover the basic needs of his beloved children. Ramil applied for a 1,000 AZN loan to purchase cattle and fodder. Ramil has good client history and this will be the second loan from Kiva partner AqroInvest.
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.