Interview: Guillermo Gastelum Bon Bustamante Chairman of the Board of Culiacán Growers Association

With great pride and dedication, Guillermo Gastelum represents the day-to-day interests of the more than 1,400 members of the AARC, an organization that provides management knowledge and quality services that increase the profitability and productivity of each of its partners.

  1. Could you share a little about your beginnings in agriculture?

I come from a family of farmers, both on the maternal and the paternal side. From a very young age he took me to the countryside and this was how my passion for agriculture was born.

Once I received the technical career in Agricultural Machinery, from the National College of Technical Professional Education (CONALEP), I began to become more involved in the activities of the family business. First, I oversaw the purchase of inputs and spare parts of the machinery and later I began to receive a greater number of responsibilities that somehow forged my knowledge of the sector.

I am currently owner and administrator of a farm in the Navolato area.

  1. What functions do you play within the Culiacan Farmers’ Association?

As president of the AARC, my main function is to look after the interests of all horticultural and barn-producing partners in the Culiacan Valley, which corresponds to a large part of the municipality of Culiacán, Navolato and a part of Mocorito.

We represent in a trade union all the corresponding to the fiscal area, social, labor, etc. .; All with the aim of allowing producers to increase their level of competitiveness at national and international level.

  1. In his family, different members have had the opportunity to be at the head of agricultural organisms here in Sinaloa. Did that motivate you in any way to get to where you are today?

My grandfather, Emilio Gastelum Gaxiola, was the first appointed institutional president of the AARC; Later my father, Emilio Gastelum Angulo, took the same position from 1974 to 1977, after which he was president of the Confederation of Agricultural Associations of the State of Sinaloa (CAADES). On the side of my mother are also Mr. Atilano Bon Bustamante and Jorge Bon Bustamante; Both were presidents of the AARC and CAADES.


The accompaniment to my father during his period as president in both organisms allowed me from a very early age to know in what consisted the position and that was how the interest was born to me.

The vocation as an agricultural leader comes to me both on the paternal and the maternal side and it is something that I could not deny.

  1. What role has the AARC played in the development of the Sinaloa agricultural sector?

The AARC was created in 1932 and has since played a leading role in the development of agriculture in our state, mainly by promoting various public policies related to the field.

The activities carried out by the AARC have been a great detonator of the economy of the whole area that includes the Valley of Culiacan, favoring the profitability of the producers.

  1. What benefits do the producers associated with the AARC have?

Producers associated with the AARC are mainly supported in the management of fiscal issues; The defense of interests against organizations such as Social Security and Infonavit; Personnel are trained in topics such as safety, social responsibility, quality, etc. .; Are encouraged to comply with good agricultural practices through programs such as Campo Limpio, whereby we serve as a receiving center for empty containers and subsequently give it a final safe disposal according to the law.

Finally, there is a great variety of services that AARC offers its associates and that supports them in each of the processes that the agricultural ones realize.

  1. What were the main achievements of the agricultural sector during the 2014-2015 season?

On a general level, I believe that one of the greatest achievements for the horticultural sector is to effectively counteract dumping to tomatoes; Defense by Rosario Antonio Beltran and Mario Haroldo Robles, president and director of the Commission for Research and Defense for Vegetables (IACHR), respectively.

On the part of the AARC, it has promoted the improvement of good practices both in the field and in shelters, instilling in the producers a social responsibility approach, based on the respect and the good treatment to the workers of the migrant field, obtaining rewarding results.

  1. What learning has left him to lead the AARC?

You never finish learning, but I can tell you that it accelerated in an impressive way the degree of maturity and responsibility, in this case, to make decisions that are not precisely their own and have a direct impact on third parties; This encourages you to analyze things better and then you make better decisions.


  1. Could you share some of the Association’s future projects?

We have as main project the management of “Agro Parques Sinaloa”, which was born in the AARC and aims to reuse the railways to carry out transportation of the product, which will give an advantage to the producer by reducing their costs Logistic in 30% and as society we would support in relation to the pollution caused by other means of transport; It is intended that this site will serve as a fiscal support for producers who wish to export the product and that it also has the support of agents from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to certify that the fruit / vegetable that leaves here is Free of pathogens, this will help to avoid the different revisions that subtract quality to the product when interrupting the chain of cold.

We are also working on the certification of blue mold free vegetables granted by the Government of Japan, with the aim of opening new marketing markets towards a more demanding one, but which are undoubtedly requirements that the Culiacan Valley producers can meet without no problem.

I could talk you a lot, we have projects in relation to the good use of water, support in updating technology for horticulture, etc..; Each of them with the aim of benefiting our producers.


  1. Anything else you want to add?

Eleven Rivers is a project oriented to the fruit and vegetable production that focuses on the fulfillment of good agricultural, social, and administrative practices; Objectives shared and supported by the Culiacan Farmers’ Association.