Heydar is a 39-year-old man, married with three children. He is an internally displaced person (IDP) and lives with his family in Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. He breeds cows and cattle and sells milk and milk products as well as cattle for meat purposes to local butchers. Heydar has more than 10 years of experience in this field, thanks to his father who taught him the best ways to look after cattle.
Heydar usually buys small cattle, raises and fattens them for 5-6 months and resells them for more profitable price in the local livestock bazaar. Milk and yoghurt he sells to the neighbors. Milk and meat selling brings him an income of 120 AZN per month. Milk and yoghurt, as well as meat are very popular products in Azerbaijan. People use meat in everyday national dishes such as pilau and dolma and always use yoghurt souse. Milk products are considered as very healthy and also present in everyday life.
This is only one financial income in his family and it is not enough to cover the basic needs of his beloved children. Heydar applied for a loan of 1200 AZN to purchase two cattle and one milking cow.
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.