Sakina is a 58-year-old widow who is raising four children alone. She is an IDP and lives in Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. She receives a pension, but it is too low to cover the needs of her beloved children. Sakina has been breeding cattle for the last 20 years.
Sakina usually buys small calves, raises and fattens them for 5-6 months, and then resells them for a more profitable price in the livestock bazaar. Her monthly income is 180 Azerbaijani manats (AZN), and this is the only source of financial income in her family. Meat is in very high demand in Azerbaijan, and people use it in everyday dishes like pilau and dolma. Sakina also keeps milking cows for personal use and for selling to neighbors. Her older son helps her to raise the livestock and look after them.
She wants to expand her business and improve the living conditions of her family. She applied for a 1,500-AZN loan in order to purchase two calves, one milking cow, and fodder. This will be her second loan, and she has good credit 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.