Maftuna is a 29-year-old woman, an internally displaced person (IDP) who lives in the Bilasuvar IDP Settlement with her husband and two children. She is a farmer and has raised seasonal fruit and vegetables for the last 8 years. She chose this business because it is profitable and because fresh crops are in high demand. People use fresh vegetables everyday and consider them health. Many national dishes are made of vegetables, such as pilau and dolma. Fresh fruit is served at every table in Azerbaijan families and is also used to make fresh punch.
Maftuna sells her crop in the central bazaar. Her monthly income is 110 AZN. Her husband is a builder, buy doesn’t have a permanent job. He actively helps her to raise crops.
As these products are in high demand, Maftuna wants to expand her business and produce more fruit and vegetables to cover market demand. For this purpose she applied for a loan of 1000 AZN. She will buy new garden tools, seeds and fertilizer. This will be her second loan and she has a good client history.
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.