Salman is 43 years old, married, and lives with his family in an internally displaced person (IDP) settlement, as he is an IDP. Salman grows seasonal fruits and vegetables such as corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, pears, peaches, plums and cherries. He has two years of experience, and despite the short period of being in this business, he gained respect from local vendors because he produces good organic crops without chemical fertilizers.
People use fresh vegetables every day and consider them healthy. Many national dishes are made of vegetables, like pilau [rice cooked in a seasoned broth with vegetables or meat] and dolma [stuffed vegetables]. Fresh fruits serve every table in Azerbaijan families and are also used to make fresh punch.
Salman sells his crop from his yard and sometimes takes them to the local bazaar. His monthly income is 120 AZN. He would like to purchase more seeds and fertilizers to improve the quality of his crops, increase his sales, and expand his business. For this purpose he applied for 1,900 AZN. This will be his second loan and he has a positive 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.