Yadigar is a 46 year-old man, married with two sons. He breeds sheep and cattle and sells them to local butchers. Yadigar has 10 years of experience in this field, thanks to his father, who taught him the best way to raise cattle.
Yadigar usually buys small cattle and lambs, raises and fattens them in 5-6 months and resells them for a more profitable price in the local livestock bazaar. Fur is also very popular among local people. Fur and meat selling brings 200 AZN in income per month. People use the meat in everyday national dishes as pilau and dolma, and always use yogurt sauce.
This is the only income in his family, and it is not enough to cover the basic needs of his beloved children. Yadigar applied for 1000 AZN to purchase 8 sheep and cattle.
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.