The population of an island needs food - a bushel is a day's food for 500 people. Peasants will starve to death without food, and they will cause problems while they do. It is the banker's responsibility to keep the peasants and nobles fed. Armies require food too, and will rely on a region's food when their provisions have run out.
The people of your realm will grow and harvest food on their own without intervention. Food is needed more in some regions compared to others: cities usually consume more food than they produce, while rural regions usually produce a surplus. Region lords, bankers, and traders are able to trade food.
Harvests can fall short for many reasons:
- Poor weather can flood, freeze, or scorch crops in the fields
- Enemy looting can destroy both crops in the fields, the means of production, and stores of food
- Reduced production can cause good crops to go to waste if not enough people are available to work the harvest
- Traders buying food can deplete food reserves
These things can make it difficult for a realm to feed itself. Sometimes realms cannot feed themselves even when operating at full capacity in peacetime. If your realm does not have enough food, it will have to trade for food. Region lords, bankers, and traders will need to make up the deficit by trading with realms who are willing to sell their surplus. If there are no such willing partners, sometimes other arrangements can be made through diplomatic means or other.
Weather changes in a determined weather area affects the food production of all the regions in it. A single weather area spans multiple regions and has a uniform weather status. The weather status affects the food production in the area.
There are four different weather statuses:
Drought, starvation feared Bad, reduced harvest expected Average Good, rich harvest ahead
Most of the time a region will have average weather which causes the production of food in a region to be close to the estimate. When the weather is especially good, the region will produce more food than normal. When the weather is bad, the region will produce less food than normal. When there is a drought, the region will produce a lot less food than normal.
Beluaterra, East Continent, and Dwilight have seasons. Colonies and South Island does not currently have seasons.
Seasons multiply the normal harvest amounts by a flat percentage.
- Summer: Normal production level. This is what is reported on the region pages.
- Autumn: 200% of summer production levels
- Winter: 25% of summer production levels
- Spring: 75% of summer production levels
Food will rot in a region everyday when there is a surplus of food in a region. Building granaries to store food helps prevent food from rotting.
Only testing islands and war island have food distribution at the moment. (i.e. only Dwilight, Beluaterra, and South Island have this feature.)
Food distribution is an option for region lords to adjust how much food is granted to the peasantry from the region's granaries. In other words, this changes how much food the peasants are allowed to eat. The current options are to give the peasants access to 200%, 100%, 50%, and 25% of the food they need. Giving out extra food, 200%, will boost the morale and health of the peasants while also attracting more peasants to your region. This does, of course, also mean food is consumed much faster. Going below 100% will increase the amount of time before your region suffers from starvation, but it does make the peasants unhappy.
Changing the food distribution in your region will take one hour of your time. On the food distribution page you will get to see how much food is stored in your region, the Current Net Food Consumption (which does take into consideration the food consumed by soldiers in the region), and how long your currently stored food will last if nothing else changes.