Ziyaddin is a 34-year-old man. He is single and breeds cattle and sells them for meat purposes to local butchers right from his home. Ziyaddin has five years of experience in this field, thank to his brother who currently helps him and taught him the best ways to look after cattle.
Ziyaddin usually buys small cattle, raises and fattens them in 5-6 months, and resells them for a more profitable price in the local livestock bazaar. Meat selling brings a monthly income of 200 AZN. People use beef in everyday national dishes such as pilau and dolma and always with yoghurt sauce.
This is his only financial income. Ziyaddin applied for 1500 AZN to purchase three baby calves, one milk cow, and fodder.
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.