I see, but like it is, the facility is useless… so maybe if it´s construction become cheaper is a solution.
A small amount of extra food for trade is not a big deal… much worse is the system that actually is working of raiding and steal lots of resources in Havens (and the possibility of doing it several times repeating the mission until have stamina, what for me is certainly a fault in devs programming and not a desired feature) for almost free diplomacy penalty.
It does not pay of per itself, but if you get enough of them to cover your soldiers food needs, you get to trade all current and future food you obtain - which comes very handy if you have proper heavens, so while ratio is not great, you get materials and research badly needed from trade way more then from scavanging or even special missions (excluding raiding factories and resarch centers)
This right here, hints at what I think the main benefit of building Food Production Facilities is. Getting some peace of mind from having one less thing to worry about. If you build enough Food Production Facilities so that food production is at net zero or higher, then you never have to worry about running out of food to feed all your operatives. There is a starvation mechanic in Phoenix Point, so I think it is worth avoiding the risk of it happening entirely. When all your operative’s food needs are automatically met, you are then free to spend all of your stockpiled food on trade, recruitment or haven events.
However, building a Food Production Facility costs 200 materials and 40 tech, and it produces 8 food per day. Once it’s constructed, it takes about 37 days (36.67) for a Food Production Facility to produce enough food to break even with the cost to build it, based on the most favorable haven trade exchange rates in trading food for the equivalent value in NJ materials and Synedrion tech. Only after 37 days does a Food Production Facility start generating a net profit.
If you want to increase the food yield of your Food Production Facilities, there is a way to do it. The New Jericho alliance tech ‘Centralized AI’ gives a 50% bonus to the output of all base facilities. It is an extremely, brokenly good tech to get, I don’t know why it doesn’t get mentioned more often. When you research Centralized AI, the yield from each of your Food Production Facilities will go up from 8 food per day, to 12 food per day. It is a late-game tech and you’ll have nearly finished the game by the time you get access to the Centralized AI tech, but that 50% bonus from Centralized AI applies to so many other types of base facilities as well, even Mutation Labs. Why thank you, Mr Tobias ‘Genetic Purity’ West for unintentionally allowing the Centralized AI to increase my mutagen production by 50%, so helpful .