Career talk – Valentina Sarmiento
We often get unique stories from our subsidiaries around the world. Our representatives are trained to adapt to and understand even the most extreme conditions. The career of Valentina Sarmiento from TIMAC AGRO Colombia illustrates this perfectly.
« We had to be pioneers! »
What is your background?
I am an agricultural engineer by training. For the past two and a half years, I have worked in the Uraba Antioquia region as a TIMAC AGRO Colombia representative.
What are your working conditions?
Uraba Antioquia is located on the northern Colombian border, next to Panama and the Caribbean. The region borders a dense jungle area, marked by high heat, high humidity, frequent rainfall, and climatic uncertainty! For example, I sometimes finish my day under the sun, and by the time I get home 30 km away, the weather changes and the area is flooded in half an hour. Since the beginning of the year, 2,000 ml of water have already fallen, and the two wettest months of the year have not even passed yet.
How do the farmers work in the region?
Uraba Antioquia specialises in a single crop: bananas. It’s the main banana-growing area in the country. The crops have adapted, but the humidity fosters bacteria and disease. It is challenging to counteract these conditions with standard solutions. Besides, the soil quality is also different, and it’s very compact. When you try to penetrate it with fertilisers, especially granules, it’s like penetrating stone.
How did you adapt your way of working?
We had to be pioneers! Our knowledge and willingness to adapt to the area made the difference. Our local propositions have included drench and aerial applications adapted to the context and uses. The drench method allows us to compensate for the soil’s hardness and apply the exact quantities needed. The aerial applications complement the solutions that farmers in the region already used and require no new equipment. Both techniques have produced incredible results and are ideally suited to our area.
What did you learn from this? What is your current state of mind?
Establishing myself here was (and still is) a challenge – nobody knew about TIMAC AGRO. We had to change people’s mindsets and convince them. In the beginning, farmers laughed at us: today, mentalities have evolved, and we have successfully changed the existing models sustainably. We have successfully fostered a change in the local use of fertilisers by proposing our solutions in dosages that perfectly adapt to the needs of the soil and the plants. Today, we are the leading supplier!
Our representatives are bringing the TIMAC AGRO’s expertise to the field : get to know them in our video serie « Daily Life on the Fields » on Youtube
More information about our colombian subsidiary: co.timacagro.com