Baba is 45 years old. He is married and has one daughter and one son. His wife is a homemaker. Baba breeds cattle to sell to local butchers and raises cows for their milk and milk products. In this business his wife also helps him. His work is the only financial income for his family.
Baba has ten years of experience with livestock, thanks to his father who taught him the best way to look after his animals. He usually buys young cattle, raises and fattens them for five to six months and then sells them at a profit in the local livestock bazaar. He also sells milk and yoghurt to his neighbors. All together, these activities bring in 180 AZN a month but are not enough to cover the basic needs of his beloved children. Milk and yoghurt as well as beef and mutton are very popular in Azerbaijan. People use meat in everyday national dishes such as pilau and dolmas and always use yoghurt as a sauce. Milk products are considered to be very healthy and are also present in everyday life.
Baba is applying for a 2000 AZN loan to buy three head of cattle, one milk cow and some fodder. This will be his second loan, and he has a good client history.
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.