ZEFRA: Zero Emission Fridge for Rural Africa / Silo Tehetere

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation

ZEFRA: Zero Emission Fridge for Rural Africa / Silo Tehetere Contact Solution Provider

Solution Overview & Benefits

The 'Zero Emission Fridge for Rural Africa' (ZEFRA) is a seed storage silo made from local materials. It supports subsistence farmers in Northern Mozambique to sustain food security through reduction of post-harvest losses. Furthermore, the silo helps the farmer families to adapt to climate change that is extending the drought-caused October-to-January 'hunger period.'

The basic design of the ZEFRA is a weaved bamboo structure covered with clay on both sides. It stands on a base that incorporates vermin traps to protect the grain from rats and mice. The ZERFA is installed under a simple shelter to maintain cool, dry and constant conditions. Compared to other metal silos, the ZEFRA is affordable and sustainable as the techniques required rely entirely on existing local knowledge and can easily be replicated without creating dependence on technical assistance or external inputs.

The ZEFRA has material and labour costs of approximately USD 50 and a storage capacity of 250 kg.

History & Development

Mozambique, along with many developing countries in the global South, is vulnerable to drought. Resulting harvest failures cause food insecurity which consequently lead to a lack of seed material for upcoming cropping seasons. With changing seasonal rainfall patterns and periods, subsistence farmers practicing rain fed agriculture are struggling to keep sufficient food/seed reserves to overcome the hunger period (December–April).

Traditional post-harvest storage facilities cause losses of up to 40% of stocks and are responsible for 22% of households running out of stock for more than 2 months each year. As a result, many families apply survival strategies such as reducing the number of meals per day, lowering the quality of their diet, consuming their seeds and selling production assets.

The ZEFRA reduces the vulnerability from droughts by enabling communities and individual farmers to enhance their food security trough reduction of post-harvest losses and the establishment of seed banks that store sufficient seed reserves.


Publicly available: Yes
Countries where available: Worldwide
Price range (USD): 20 to 50 USD
Offered or can be licensed for local manufacture: Yes

Additional Information

Solution Providers Website (external link) Product Webpage (external link)


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