Elnur is a 31-year-old married man with four children. He is an IDP [internally displaced person] and lives with his family in Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. He breeds sheep for meat and wool for local butchers. Elnur has more than 10 years of experience in this field, thanks to his father who taught him the best way to look after sheep. He receives 120 Azerbaijani manats (AZN) of financial support from the government monthly, but this is too low to cover his family's needs.
Elnur usually buys lambs, raises and fattens them for 4-5 months and resells them at a more profitable price in the local livestock bazaar. His monthly income is 120 AZN. People use meat in everyday national dishes such as pilau and dolma and always use yoghurt sauce. Mutton is considered very healthy and is also present in everyday life. Wool is very useful for blankets and bed mattresses made by local woman.
There is only one source of financial income in this family. Elnur applied for 800 AZN to purchase seven sheep and fodder.
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.