Xaqani is a 32-year-old man who is married with two children. He breeds cattle and sells them for meat to local butchers. Xaqani has more than 5 years of experience in this field thanks to his father who taught him the best way to look after cattle.
Xaqani usually buys small cattle, raises and fattens them in 5-6 months, and resells them for profit in the local livestock bazaar. Meat selling brings 260 AZN income per month. People use beef in everyday national dishes such as pilau and dolma and always in yoghurt sauce.
Xagani is the only person earning income in his family and his income is not enough to cover the basic needs of his beloved children. Xaqani applied for 1,000 AZN to purchase three baby calves.
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.