Syunik Village, Armenia
Keen to build a better life
Neko Avetesyan earnt less than $100 a month from his 4 cows and 2 calves that he kept in a ruined shed. With no running water in his home, nor an inside toilet, Neko was keen to build a better life for his wife, mother, 3 children and 2 grandchildren.
That was in 2004. He took his first loan of $500 to buy more cattle and with subsequent loans of $750, $1,400 and $6,500 over the years he has expanded his herd to 28 cattle,now in a renovated shed, added a horse and last year produced 4 tons of potatoes.
His income has consistently increased and last year he made $500 from milk production and over $1,000 from meat sales. When asked what a loan has meant fro him and his family, he opens his arms wide and smiles with a shrug.“Without a loan it would have been impossible to develop my farm to a profitable level and on that basis, build up my household.”
In his 30’s, he’s smartly dressed in faded black jeans and jacket with a pair of trainers on his feet. His story is similar to his father’s except that he started with nothing.
Now he has 17 cows and 6 calves, sells meat and milk locally and cheese which is sent to the capital, taking his monthly earnings to between $300-$450. He also employs 3 seasonal workers. “A reliable collaboration with VisionFund has inspired me to continually develop my business. It ensures a future for my children in terms of their education and nutrition as well as a future for their families and households.”