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People were starving to death in the midst of agriculturally productive land.

This can be due to at least three factors:

1.)  Too much of the available land is devoted to cash crops for export and the proceeds are retained by elites, leaving the poor with neither land on which to grow or money with which to buy food.

2.)  There is not enough land to support the existing population even if all the land is devoted to food.

3.)  The population is surviving on food crops grown in commons areas of marginal agricultural value and the most nutritious of these food crops is struck by a blight or drought.  This was the case in Ireland with the potato blight.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 1st, 2009 at 01:22:13 PM EST
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