Mali: design, dissemination, and use research of household clay pot coolers

Farmers with their produce — and a need for improved vegetable storage. Bankass, Mopti, Mali.
Farmers with their produce — and a need for improved vegetable storage. Bankass, Mopti, Mali.

Evaporative cooling devices have promise for helping small-scale farmers, market vendors, and families store and preserve vegetables.


MIT D-Lab, in partnership with the World Vegetable Center, conducted an evaluation of technologies designed to improve the storage of vegetables using evaporative cooling. The methodologies used included interviews with users of the cooling and storage technologies, interviews with stakeholders along the vegetable supply chain, and sensors to monitor product performance parameters. The study took place in Mali, where the World Vegetable Center is engaged in ongoing work with horticulture cooperatives and farmers. 

Suitable cooling and storage technologies have the potential to prevent food loss (thereby increasing access to nutritious foods), strengthen the perishable food supply chain, and create opportunities for additional income generation. Because these designs for cooling chambers work with the natural cooling processes of evaporation, they are well suited for regions where electricity is either not available or not affordable. 

Evaporative Cooling Technologies for Improved Vegetable Storage Downloads

Research Report: "Evaporative Cooling Technologies for Improved Vegetable Storage in Mali”

Executive Summary

PDF icon Evaluation Report 

PDF icon Appendix 

The surveys and data collected from this research are available on DSpace@MIT

Evaporative Cooling Best Practices Guide (PDF)
Provides guidance on best practices for determining the suitability of evaporative cooling technologies for a specific context, construction and usage of clay pot coolers and evaporative cooling chambers, and dissemination approaches.

Evaporative Cooling Decision-Making Tool (Excel)
An interactive Microsoft Excel-based decision-making tool to help determine if evaporative cooling devices are suitable for a specific context, and to guide the calculation of potential financial savings.


Eric Verploegen, Research Engineer, Food-Water-Energy Lead