Sabira is a 60-year-old woman who is married with two sons. She breeds sheep and cattle for meat purposes with local butchers. Sabira has 20 years of experience in this field and she thanks her husband, who taught her how to look after cattle and who helps her to run the business. Her husband is currently on a pension.
Sabira usually buys small cattle and sheep, raises and fattens them in 5-6 months, and resells them for a more profitable price in the local livestock bazaar. Meat selling brings an income of 80 AZN per month. Beef and mutton are very popular products in Azerbaijan. People use meat in everyday national dishes such as pilau and dolma, and they always use yogurt sauce. She also sells sheep wool which is useful for clothing and blankets.
Sabira applied for a loan of 2000 AZN to purchase three cattle and eight 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.