In this guide I’ll explain how to get a city to thousands of food and hundreds of population in Humankind. This guide is broken into an overview of food in Humankind, explaining the basics of the farmers quarters which are the main source of food, how to boost that food using infrastructure and how to turbo charge food production by picking food focused civilisations. There are many other little bonuses you can get through things like religion, but they are not that material.
First, an overview of food. Food grows the population of cities. Each population requires food to sustain it, so you will need to keep adding more and more sources of food to your cities to keep growing them. One side note, you can get thousands of production and science from cities with very small populations through the base and adjacency yields of makers and research quarters. Population produces some production and science, but it is much less than the quarters produce and you need to build the quarters anyway to have slots for the population. Here is a guide for how to produce 10k+ industry in your cities, and here is a link to get to 30k+ science across your empire.
Now, onto the farmers quarters. Most of the food will come from farmers quarters. Farmers quarters exploit the food on a given tile as well as adjacent tiles. Things like rivers, springs and grassland tiles have base food on them that you can add to a cities food with the farmers quarter. Most of the food, however, will come from the food that farmers quarters provide based on adjacent farmers quarters. Therefore, it is good to plan out the farmers quarters to have as many as possible adjacent farmers quarters. This is limited by the terrain as well as maintaining your stability, take a look at this guide to read more about how to keep your stability at 100% even with hundreds of quarters in a city. There is also infrastructure that adds bonus food to farmers quarters from rivers. Harbors also produce food based on adjacent tiles.
Now let’s discuss how to boost the food using infrastructure. There are is a range of infrastructure you can build in your cities that boosts the food on farmers quarters as well as the adjacency bonus, such as animal barns. There is also infrastructure that adds more food yields to tiles, such as flood irrigation that adds food to river tiles. Additionally, there is infrastructure that boosts the food production from population as well as adding a percentage bonus to the cities food, such as the fertiliser plant. Keep an eye out for this infrastructure in the technology tree.
Finally, picking civilisations that are agrarian focussed helps turbo charge your food. For example, the English, which are in the third era, which is the medieval era, have the Serfs’ Labor legacy trait which boosts food by 7 per number of territories attached to cities. There are many other civilisations that also have nice bonuses, many of them providing a special makers quarter with bonuses to food.
So, in summary, getting the food of cities into the thousands and more and population into the hundreds requires many farmers quarters that take advantage of tile yields and being adjacent to other farmers quarters, infrastructure that boosts the farmers quarters and picking civilisations that turbo charge food by providing bonuses.