Anorboy: Credit Gone Wrong (Tajikistan)

Anorboy Piremqul presents a cautionary tale of how credit can go wrong if not administered well. As head of a collective farm a decade ago, he signed a group loan for 70 farm members to invest in an irrigation system. A corrupt government official confiscated the property and it was not returned. Anorboy fought in court but was forced to repay the group loan because it was all in his name. After three years and selling off assets like his house and some land, he paid off the sum and was debt free. Much of his income is from agriculture, but he and his family also depend on the migrant remittances that his son sends from Russia.

That was the story of Anorboy until this year when he accessed an IMON loan at the beginning of the season to invest in his onion planting. Everyone else had the same idea and a bumper crop has resulted for many farmers. Usually Anorboy would sell to traders who come to his farm and transport onions to Dushanbe, the capital city. This year, however, due to the market flooding, there are no buyers. At the time of the interview, he was planning to pay for transportation of his crop to Dushanbe and sell at a loss there. Market instability has increased his vulnerability, especially because he only invested in one crop where prices have since plummeted. While he hopes to repay his IMON loan this year, he's not sure where it will come from. While they await more remittances from his son, they eat less meat and hope for a decent onion price to be found in Dushanbe.

Anorboy has been burned twice by credit gone wrong. His dream is to pay off this loan and to avoid credit in the future. His dream is to invest in livestock once he gets on his feet again. He wants to see his son marry, pay for the wedding, and live credit debt free. He is hopeful because he believes the worst is behind him.

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