On Saturday February 21, Mr. Marte Vega Román, Chairman of Asociación de Agricultores del Río Fuerte Sur (AARFS), submitted before members his second annual report of activities of the 2019-2021 Board of Directors.
During his report, Mr. Marte recognized the coordination and cooperation efforts of Eleven Rivers Growers and CAADES, A.C. in promoting Good Agricultural and Manufacturing Practices with their exporters, as well as advising and walk them through international certification processes, in order to ensure the permanence and quality of their products in the foreign market.
Together, they seek to increase the competitiveness and evolution of horticultural and fruit production companies to meet the increasing needs of the markets and the most stringent international regulations, through the training of managers and their technical personnel in Food Safety and Sustainability subjects.
In his intervention, the Chairman stated that, despite the adversities brought by the pandemic on 2020, the agri-food sector was the only economic activity which preserved its growth trend, and managed to get through due to the significance food has. All of these, thanks to the call.
ing and commitment of all farmers. He added that the export dynamics in the primary sector of Mexico surpassed the income generated by oil for the first time in history, positioning it as the main generator of foreign exchange in our country. This manner, it is clear that the great heroes of these hardships, along with the health personnel of our country, are our farmers.
Among the actions the association has performed during the 2020-2021 fiscal year, are: management of a united front of farmers and farming organizations, lead by the National Agricultural Council (CNA, for its initials in Spanish), CAADES, A.C. and the social sector in order to increase and rescue programs which have been essential to develop the sector for many years.
Also, investing in infrastructure in order to improve the services to members, such as building the Collection Center for Grains at Estación de Francisco; starting operations in 2020 with a storage capacity of 20,000 tons for wheat and corn at its first stage, responding this way to the historical demand of its members at Valle del Carrizo. With this, the Association increased its grain storage capacity to 230,000 tons through the service units: Jiquilpan, El Globo, Estación Francisco, La Despensa and Corerepe, consolidating its regional leading position in marketing crops.
In the same manner, after 10 years and by the request of several farmers which are also members, the AARFS, A.C. re-opened a sorghum collection and marketing program, where they managed to collect over 5,000 tons.
At El Globo service unit, $2.6 million Mexican pesos were invested in installing a new ramp with higher capacity, to receive and unload cages; they also enabled an additional ramp to accelerate the discharge capacity in grain collection.
1.7 million Mexican pesos were invested in replacing the roof at the bean and threshed corn warehouse, which allowed maximizing its performance by upgrading the preservation conditions of packaged products and avoiding potential losses.
In order to minimize the risk on credits, a variety of strategies have been implemented, such as providing a professional service of technical assistance to improve the productivity of their members and customers, providing high quality products and services at competitive and convenient prices, and providing comprehensive advisory in farming insurance, etc.
They were also able to develop the creation of the AARFS Farming Innovation Center, an investment whose main purpose is the continuous improvement of information systems and all the user service operations, as well as the development of new technologies and tools facilitating the farming activities.
The positioning in sales of bean and wheat seeds is thanks to the continuance in certified seed reproduction programs developed by the AARFS, A.C. with cooperating farmers, which are also members. In the case of Azufrado Higuera variety beans, they increased the sowing area for the seed, from 83 to 138 hectares under the regulatory monitoring of the National Service for Seed Inspection and Certification (SNICS, for its initials in Spanish); whereas for wheat; 45 hectares of seed reproduction were established for Norman and Glenn varieties. In the same manner, the Chairmen thanked Fundación Produce Sinaloa for the valuable support in recent years in order to successfully perform the wheat seed reproduction program at Valle del Carrizo.
In terms of Sustainability, Mr. Marte stated that one of the great challenges of farming is to sustainably preserve food production through new production models which take under consideration the care for the environment and natural resources which are key for farming; such as soil and water. For such, Asociación de Agricultores continues promoting programs which contribute to the environment and sustainability of agribusinesses of its farmers. One of them is the program to collect empty agrochemical containers, Campo Limpio, where they will install, with the help of AMOCALI, a grinding mill for empty agrochemical containers at the Temporary Collection Center in Barobampo, in order to improve the collection, sorting, and storage process of containers. He showed his appreciation for the efforts and involvement of agrochemical companies, irrigation modules, Local Plant Health Boards (Juntas Locales de Sanidad Vegetal) of Valle del Fuerte and Valle del Carrizo, Fumigation Airstrips and Farmers in this significant task for the benefit of the farming region. He also invited all the farmers to join the association and get involved in this program, by performing a triple wash of containers, in order to give then a safe final destination.
Similarly, AARFS, A.C. continues promoting the MasAgro CIMMYT program through its experimental platform of sustainable farming, with the main purpose of being able to provide regional farmers with alternative sowing methods that reduce production costs in their crops with higher profitability, by implementing tillage and conservation, biological pest control, a rational water use and an optimal use of fertilizers and organic composts.
In addition to this, the Association launched a campaign to raise awareness of water care, in order to promote the sustainable development of farming in the region, by encouraging all farmers make a proper use and management of water in their irrigation practices.
Keeping up in line of contributing in related activities for the benefit of the farming sector and society in general, the Association participated in the National Agricultural Council (CNA, for its initials in Spanish) initiative: Alimentos para México (Food for Mexico), with the purpose of providing food to the most vulnerable population during the pandemic, making donations of beans and corn to community kitchens in the region and to the Food Bank. They participated in Grupo Goter PoliClaus initiative, donating gifts to children of limited resources, living in rural communities. And finally, they donated financial and in-kind resources to the Ministry of Health and Civil Protection area in the Municipality of Ahome.
On the COVID-19 situation, Mr. Marte said that that the association did not hesitate in reinforcing the health safety protocols in all the customer service areas for farmers, becoming one of the first farming businesses to receive the PASE Distinction by the State government, as well as the Social Security Institute (IMSS) Distinction in its Health Safety program. With these efforts and in the face of “the new normal”, the Association continues providing safe and uninterrupted care to farmers so that agriculture does not stop.
Similarly, Likewise, AARFS, AC, received the award for best talent, best company, by Universidad Tec Milenio, which recognizes companies that constantly promoting growth and development of their collaborators through training programs and/or scholarships. Promoting constant development, talent and knowledge of their employees is one of our main goals, added the Chairman.
With great pride, he recognized all the employees of the Association for the great work they have performed with their duties, and made a special recognition to them for not letting the pandemic stop the services provided by the organization. The board of directors is convinced that, with the support of their personnel, the challenges they are currently facing and those to come, will be overcome with determination, firmness and willingness to continue providing the best products and services to partners.
In conclusion of his message, Mr. Marte encouraged fellow farmers to remain united, faithful and loyal to the purposes and values of the organization, building the vision and character passed on from one generation to the next, in order to achieve the best conditions to develop their passionate activity, that is agriculture.
If you would like to see the video of the Second Annual Report from Asociación de Agricultores del Río Fuerte Sur, click here: https://fb.watch/3V7y6AjgQq/