Come join the Millet Revival Project 2023 with The Locavore & Rainmatter Foundation!

Hello all! Let me start by saying I’m really excited to be a part of this Grove community!

My name is Thomas Zacharias and I’m the Chef and Founder of The Locavore. While I’ve spent the better part of my life cooking professionally (I was the head chef founding partner of The Bombay Canteen, O Pedro and Bombay Sweet Shop in Mumbai, a company I was a part of for 6.5 years before I left completely in December 2020), my culinary travels across India have made me aware of the stark disconnects between what we eat and where it comes from, who grows it, what goes into it, and all the people, stories and challenges in between. All of this and more led me to launch The Locavore in April 2022.

At its heart, The Locavore is a social impact platform that is trying to build a local food movement in India through storytelling, partnerships, collaborations, events, projects and more. You can find more about us here.

As you all probably know by now, 2023 has been recognised as the International Year of Millets (IYOM) by the United Nations based on a proposal by the Indian government. Now millets are relevant to the climate change conversation for many reasons-- they are climate smart, require very little water to grow, can grow in arid climates, do not need a lot of soil nutrition or care, and are extremely resilient in adverse climatic conditions. Couple that with the fact that they are highly nutritious and you have yourselves a silent winner, a gold mine of an ingredient category which is hardly explored by modern Indians. As a chef, what excites me particularly is that millets are also very versatile as an ingredient (think soups, salads, stir fries, pulaos, stews, desserts the works!) and can be really delicious if prepared right. But millets have largely been forgotten from our plates and diets, and replaced by just a few varieties of rice and wheat which are extremely resource intensive.

Which brings me to the Millet Revival Project. As of this year, The Locavore in association with the Rainmatter Foundation is taking on the ambitious task of getting millets back into everyone’s minds and plates through the Millet Revival Project 2023. We have a lot planned already and we’ve kickstarted our efforts, which you can read more about here.

Looking forward to this exciting project, and potentially bringing some (or all) of you into the conversation too!


Hi all,

I am Takshama, and I head Projects & Partnerships at The Locavore.

We are very excited to explore the millet landscape in India this year and bring together different stakeholders to create a deeper understanding of the why behind consuming millets, while also facilitating how to do so, in a fun and accessible manner.

You can reach out to me for any ideas, thoughts, or more. We also have an exciting event lined up, and will be sharing more details about it soon!


Hi all,

Please find attached the updates for February 2023.

Millet Revival Project_Master Project Planning - February 2023 Report.pdf (41.9 KB)

Below are also some thoughts for the month -

  • We are overwhelmed by the support that the project has received. Our website page has received over 5200 views, and over 130 people have signed up to volunteer for the project. We have 3 new knowledge partners, and several collaborations and leads for the month of March.

  • Leads and planned initiatives for March are mentioned in the report, and it is critical for us to streamline information and potential collabs in the coming months and schedule them.

  • Our focus for this and the following week is to shortlist Cooking Lab as well as Climate & Policy Lab Volunteers based on their submissions on Monday, 6 March and share the plan for the Climate & Policy Lab.

  • We also hope to meet the Rainmatter Team at The #LocavoreMeetup - Let’s Talk About Millets! on March 12, at KMC* Mumbai.


Thanks, Takshama!

There’s so much buzz around millets right now, and it struck us at The Locavore that whenever millets are being discussed, the term ‘revival’ invariably shows up as well. We wanted to step back, and have a clearer understanding of this – that if we once ate millets as part of our traditional diets in India, where did it disappear to in the first place?

This forms the crux of Arathi Menon’s piece, which touches on how millets were once part of adivasi cuisine, the reliance on PDS (Public Distribution System), Green Revolution, and also how the saving of seeds was being done in silos by farmers: The Return of the Forgotten Millet - The Locavore

Arathi felt like a good choice not just because she’s an experienced journalist, but also because she’s got a serious interest in issues related to the environment and the climate crisis. And her piece on millets, or the return of millets, feels like the perfect introductory piece for The Millet Revival Project.

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