Dilshad is a 48-year-old woman, a widow, bringing up one daughter, alone. She breeds sheep and cattle for meat purposes, for local butchers. Dilshad has ten years of experience in this field, thanks to her husband, who taught her the best way to look after cattle.
Dilshad usually buys small cattle and sheep, raises and fattens them for five or six months, and resells them for a more profitable price in the local livestock bazaar.
Meat-selling brings AZN 120 income per month. Beef and mutton are very popular products in Azerbaijan. People use meat in everyday national dishes, such as pilau and dolma, and always use yoghurt souse. Also, Dilshad sells sheep's wool which is useful for clothes and blankets.
Dilshad applied for a loan of AZN 1000 to purchase one cattle and five sheep. This will be her second loan and she 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.