Dr. Martin Sieber: Facilitating Economic Growth Project (FEG)

Facilitating Economic Growth Project (FEG)
  • Story Snapshot

  • Country: Sri Lanka
  • VEGA Lead Member: International Executive Service Corps (IESC)
  • Objective: To work with the dairy cooperative of the Jaffna Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agri-business (JWCCIA) in Manipay, Jaffna District.

martinDr. Martin Sieber
Owner, AgDevelop
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Career Summary: As an independent livestock consultant, Martin has traveled and worked extensively in Asia and North and South America over the last 10 years. He has over 25 years of experience in global livestock genetics businesses.
Area(s) of Expertise: Dairy processing
Education: Post-doctoral studies, Animal/Livestock Husbandry and Production, Iowa State University
PhD, Animal/Livestock Husbandry and Production, Bavarian Research Center of Animal Husbandry, Grub, Germany
Master’s degree, Animal/Livestock Husbandry and Production, The University of Kiel, Germany
BASc, Animal Sciences, The University of Kiel, Germany
Languages Spoken: English, German, Portuguese, Spanish

Name of project: Facilitating Economic Growth Project (FEG)
Volunteer Assignment and Impact: Founded in 2000, the JWCCIA is the largest women’s Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province. The project began working with JWCCIA’s women’s dairy cooperative. At the time, the cooperative, made up of 160 families, collected only 300 liters of milk per day because its animals were in poor health.
The FEG Project provided a volunteer expert, Dr. Martin Sieber, to assist the JWCCIA and members of the cooperative by providing technical assistance related to diet, milking systems and overall animal health. Martin trained 55 members, 50 of whom were women, on selecting high yield breeds, designing shelter for the animals, and proper hygiene and sanitation practices to ensure the health and safety of the animals and the product.

As a result of his assistance, the dairy cooperative increased milk collection to 625 liters per day. Not only did their yield increase, but the quality of the milk improved enough that the cooperative now sells its milk to global brand Nestlé. The JWCCIA recently set up a second collection site, which will increase daily yield by an additional 300 liters.

Martin also provided assistance to CIC Dairy, Inc., a Sri Lankan dairy processor. He advised the CIC extension officers on a wide range of issues related to procurement, quality, purity, and safety. For example, he helped them develop strategies to discourage adulteration of the milk by farmers and planning for contingencies in procurement. After Martin’s technical assistance, the company began widespread testing for antibiotics and reported an increase in the quality of milk purchased.