Tahir is a 42-year-old man, married, with three children. He is an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) and lives with his family in the Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. He breeds cattle and sells milk and milk products as well as cattle for meat to local butchers. Tahir has more than 10 years of experience in this field, thanks to his father, who taught him the best ways to look after cattle. He receives 80 AZN a month in financial support from government, but that is too little to cover his family's needs.
Tahir usually buys young cattle, raises and fattens them for 5 or 6 months, and resells them for a profitable price in the local livestock bazaar. Milk and yogurt, he sells to his neighbors. The milk and meat sales bring 160 AZN income a month. Milk and yogurt, as well as meat, are very popular products in Azerbaijan. People use meat in everyday national dishes like pilau and dolma, and they always use yogurt. Milk products are considered very healthy, and they are also present in everyday life.
This is his family's only income, and it is not enough to cover the basic needs of his beloved children. Tahir applied for a loan of 1,000 AZN to purchase two cattle and one milk 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.