The ratio population/food is long established. The relationship between these two magnitudes has always been fundamental as an indication of the prosperity of a country. In the background there remains the intuition of Malthus. His reasoning may seem to have been defective, and his ideas have had to be modified in the light of the experience of more than one and a half centuries. Nevertheless, his intuition is still full of significance for us. Here we shall mention only some lines of thought which remain essential for our study.
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