Food is the basis for Population growth. A unit of food represents enough production/import to feed 10,000 people or 1 Population unit. Rural Pops produce food while Urban Pops consume it.
Food Production Edit
At a Glance:
- Rural Pops produce 0.15 Food plus the Farming Efficiency of the province
- Food is sold within the province, in the region and in the continent
- Selling food generates rural wealth while buying food reduces urban wealth
Rural Pops produce food at a base rate of 0.15 per pop, then the Farming Efficiency of the province is added to give the amount excess. For example, total food for a province with 30k rural pop and a FE of 35% would be:
Total Food = 3 * (0.15 + 0.35) = 1.50The Farming Efficiency of a region is increased through wealth investment that represents procurement of better tools at an early level all the way to large scale irrigation and advanced techniques. A portion of Rural, and to a lesser extent Urban, wealth is invested into improving FE rather than the state, meaning the best way to increase FE is by increasing the amount of wealth available at a local level. Besides a generally healthy economy, a healthy rural production and an influx of loot are two main ways rural wealth can be improved, and thus FE.
The Scottish Highlands will have a much lower base FE than the Nile River Valley, so every 1 Scottish Rural Pop will produce less excess food than their Nile counterparts.
Consumption and Distribution Edit
At a Glance:
- Each 10k Urban People, or 1 Urban Pop, consume 1 Food
- The more Food available, the faster populations grow
- High Food usage increases the Food Price, resulting in more Food being bought
Produced food is distributed among the local Province Market, the Region Market, and the Continental Market based on where the prices are the lowest; it is then allocated to provinces based on Urban Gravity, i.e. how strongly a city pulls food compared to its competitors.
With the exception of famines, there will usually be a surplus of food in a region. The amount of excess food as a percentage of total food will be multiplied into the growth rate for all populations. What this means is that, if there is a lot of extra food compared to how much is consumed, populations will grow faster. So, if there is 90% excess (very high), and the growth rate is 1.01, then the real rate will be of 1.909 per year. However, if the region is mature and uses nearly all the excess food, a 20% excess margin would mean a growth rate of 1.202 per year. The result of this is that regions won't outstrip their food supplies, and, if damaged, Urban Pops will rebound comparatively quickly.
Because the Scottish Rural Pops only produce 1.05 units of food compared to 1.4 in the Nile , 200,000 Scottish farmers (20 pops) could only support 10,000 city dwellers (1 pop), while 200,000 Nile farmers support 80,000. However, the excess food in the Nile is split between major cities such as Cairo, Damietta and Alexandria, whilst Scotland has no large cities; therefore, the effect is much diluted in the former case and is practically comparable to the latter.
Continental Market Edit
Lastly, through Rural Production, Nobles can set a portion of the food produced in a province to be exported to the Continental Market for use by bustling cities of more than 50,000 (5 Urban Pops). The Wharf District building chain increases the amount of food accessible to a city for purchase.
Every 1 Rural Production from a Farm Estate exports 1 Food from the local pool to the Continental Market. This means there is less food in the local pool, stifling growth in the long term; however, taxable rural wealth accrues over time, helping enrich the state, province and local estate. One should keep in mind that it's not always a simple short-term vs. long-term balance calculation, though: for example, the extra local wealth could help jumpstart the local economy in a particularly poor province, improving FE and infrastructure, and resulting in a net gain of food in the long term. This could also be achieved through ample plunder returning home, but it's important to realise that launching looting wars isn't always feasible or even the most cost-effective option.