Shukufa is a 57-year-old married woman with five children. Shukufa has been breeding cattle and cows for the past ten years. She and her husband live on a pension, which is too small. When they had jobs, they had enough salary, and breeding cows was not primarily the source of income. However, after retirement, living got harder, and now, breeding cattle and cows have become primarily the source of income in her family.
Shukufa usually buys small calves, raises and fattens them for 5-6 months, then resells for more profitable prices in the livestock bazaar. Her monthly income is 120 AZN and this business 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. Shukufa also keeps milking cows for personal use and for selling to neighbors.
She wants to expand her business and improve life conditions of her family. She applied for a 600 AZN loan to purchase one milking cow and fodder (feed). This will be her fourth loan and AqroInvest trust her.
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.