Sarana is a 39-year-old widow, with one son. She is an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) and lives in an IDP Settlement. She is a farmer, raising seasonal fruits and vegetables. She has about 10 years of experience in this field, which makes her an experienced and skilled person with these crops.
Sarana usually sells her crop in the central bazaar. People use fresh vegetables everyday and consider them healthy. Many national dishes are made of vegetables, like pilau and dolma. Fresh fruits serve every table in Azerbaijan households and also make fresh punch. Sarana's monthly income is 80 AZN. Raising crops takes a lot of strength and working in the open air, which is very hard for women. That why her son helps Sarana.
She needs additional capital to invest in seeds and fertilizers. This will allow her to improve the quality of products she raises and increase her monthly sales. For this purpose, she applied for a loan of 1,000 AZN. This will be her third loan, and she has a good repayment 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.