Farayil, age 52, breeds livestock to earn a living. He learned this business at a very young age from his father, who had much experience and taught him well. During those years, Farayil acquired the knowledge and skills required for the business.
He purchases calves in the central livestock market and raises them. After fattening the animals, he resells them for a profitable price at the livestock bazaar. Meat is in very high demand in Azerbaijan and is used in many local everyday dishes, such as pilau and dolma.
Farayil's business requires a lot of physical strength, as he spends most of his time in the open air. He and his wife have three children, and his son helps him to feed the animals.
His monthly income is 300 AZN and Farayil wishes to increase it. As meat is in high demand, he needs more capital to put toward his business and to cover the market. For this purpose, he has applied for a loan in the amount of 2,000 AZN. He will use the loan to buy one cow, two cattle, and five sheep.
Aqroinvest Credit Union was founded in 2001 by a group of 32 farmers from Imishli. It has since grown to become the largest credit union in Azerbaijan, owned by its more than 5,400 borrowers and boasting a portfolio of nearly US$12 million.
AqroInvest is focused on providing loans to the following groups of people: rural farmers, people living in distant southern villages with little or no access to finance and internally displaced people and refugees, many of whom lost their homes and livelihoods during the violent conflicts in the 1990s.
In May 2011, Aqroinvest started a new project with Kiva proving higher education loans to students. The project gives students the support and financing they need to continue their education and helps pay for tuition fees at various universities in Azerbaijan. Aqroinvest is the first credit union in the country to offer students loans.