Karim, age 49, breeds cattle and sells them directly from his home to local butchers for meat purposes. He has more than 10 years of experience in this field, thanks to his father who taught him well how to look after cattle. He is also a taxi driver, but orders for this service are very rare. Karim and his wife have two children.
Karim usually buys calves, raises and fattens them over a period of five to six months, and resells them for a more profitable price at the local livestock bazaar. This activity brings him 300 AZN income per month. The local people use beef in many everyday national dishes, such as as pilau and dolma, always served with yogurt sauce. Karim's son helps him in his work and is learning how to look after the livestock.
This business provides the main financial income in his family, but at present it is not enough to cover the basic needs of his beloved children. Karim has therefore applied for a loan in the amount of 1,500 AZN in order to purchase four cattle. This will be his second loan and he 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.