If the devs are still interested in later game difficulty and the drawbacks of success, might I suggest a situation in which agricultural markets crash due to massively plant-based diets collapsing the meat industry and bankrupting many agricultural businesses.
I’d love to see the Synthetic Meat Grants adjusted to make them exclusive to the agricultural industry, or otherwise related to farmers in some way, just as vertical farms are. This gives the farmers a fighting chance to break into the new in-vitro meat markets as they transition away from livestock, avoiding the violent collapse of there being greatly reduced demand for a product humans have valued for thousands of years.
The situation would be remedied by certain subsidies and laws, so long as they’re strong enough to support an entire industry being forced to rely predominantly on plant-based produce.
on this post…
I don’t see agricultural markets crashing due to plant-based diets. Many meat producers (in the US at least) have purchased large stakes in plant-based products and/or started making their own in order to alleviate this risk. Tyson Foods, the world’s second-largest producer of meats, has bought ownership in Beyond Meat, for example.
Source: Why We Are Investing in Alternative Proteins | Tyson Foods (thefeed.blog)
In terms of more realism… I could see the costs of Rural Subsidies going up. Why? Because, as less farmland’s used for agriculture, the value of that land is going to collapse. While most Westernized countries have most farmland owned by big corporations, the local owners would be hit hard.
To explain… if you grow a pound of corn to feed people, that’s corn to mouth. If you grow a pound of beef, that’s a lot more corn to feed the cow to feed the people. So less farmland’s required for folks who eat less meat.
Which, while potentially great for the environment (depending on what the Government IE the Player decides to do with derelict farmland), could be a cost to clean up.