Implementation of"Community Based Support to Producers of Milk and Dairy Products”with the financial support of USAID and BP and Partners since 2009 reminded us the two poles of lifestyles and living qualities. Life in the households on one pole is quite easy, their all needs are met automatically, they have all the necessary technologies and appliances at home, their family budgets are quite appealing; while the households on the other pole like the Agayevs’ described in this story strive for life… and a simple washing machine can be their reason to adhere the life again…

The photo given to the right is of the home where the Agayevs have been living since they moved to Seyyidlar village of Samukh region after selling their well-equipped duplex house in Ganja, for procuring the bare necessities of severe life. The hero of our story Aygun Agayeva, her three school-aged children, her physically disabled husband, blind sister-in-law and old father-in-law - a family of seven people are trying to live in the house pictured. The only labor-gifted person in the family is Aygun, and she is the person to meet all the physical, material and moral needs of the family. In one hand obligation of doing all cleaning, feeding and other needs of three children, two physically disabled and one old person, in other hand having very limited resources to procure the mentioned needs frequently bores Aygun. Her only assets are her cow, a few chickens and her small yard where she plants vegetables; only tools are her hard-working hands and only income is the money she gets from the daily sale of 4-5 liters milk and after spending all related expenses. At least that was till the shortly called Milk project, of which full name is given at the start of the story.

She had no cattle-breeding experience before. Her work day started at sunrise: after yielding cow’s milk, she hastily did all the house works, send off the children to school, cleaned and fed the nearest needing help. Only after those works she could take her 4-5 litres milk, and go to the station of buses to the region centre. Of course, if the milk is fresh after about an hour trip she sold it, gave the money of 1-1,5 litres milk for ticket fee and bought the necessary things with the rest money. Surely, in this case no house improvements could be made and new appliances could be bought.

The only optimism and future hope of the family in this anguish scene was Aygun’s social activeness and her involvement to the Milk project.

Aygun actively and attentively participated in all the awareness raising discussions, capacity building trainings and other activities conducted by the project staff. She learned vital strategies in cattle-breeding: namely, the impact of attentive, observant and timely care of animals, way and circumstances of animal breeding, way, time and cleanliness of milk yielding on the quality and quantity of the dairy products. Practical knowledge on relationship among appropriate storage of the milk, timing of giving milk for processing and the income earned, client behavior, sale culture etc, brought self-confidence to Aygun. She became more aware of credit institutions and their credits for agrarians. Now she was ready to think about new perspectives for her living and business.

The Milk Collection Point(MCP) in the community encouraged Aygun to sell the milk there, which released her from extra time and money loss. In cash payment of the milk price at the MCP motivated to improve her household and the first thing she thought was purchase of a washing machine. For this she applied for credit and now she is paying her monthly interest and minimum credit repayment timely.


Aygun Agayeva

A member of Seyyidlar community