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Our Expert Voices conversation on food security.

Food security in the context of a growing population and in the face of climate change is a tremendous challenge. But the main bottleneck is not the lack of science or technology — it's small scale farmers' access to land and markets. These farmers produce the bulk of the world's food, but are squeezed into less than a quarter of the planet's farmland.

What farmers need: Reforms that give them access to land, promote local markets rather than subsidizing export commodities, and support indigenous agroecological farming methods that help to fight the climate crisis. Farms capture huge amounts of carbon back into the world's farmlands and result in resilient farming systems more tolerant to extreme weather patterns.

Bottom line: Top-down laboratory-developed technological 'solutions' under control of agribusiness, such as genetically engineered seeds, more agrochemicals and extreme mechanization, only lead us deeper into the food and climate crises.

Other voices in the conversation:

Pamela Ronald, plant geneticist, UC Davis, Focus on results new technologies bring

Eric Schulze, molecular biologist, Memphis Meats, Science can't be at the expense of culture

Deborah Delmer, plant biologist, Genetic modification is an important part

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The SPAC surge continues unabated, with 10 new ones formed since Wednesday morning. And that's OK.

Between the lines: There are growing concerns that retail investors are about to get rolled, with smart sponsors taking advantage of dumb money.

Schumer says Senate will stay through weekend to vote on COVID relief

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) accused Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) of going to "ridiculous lengths" to show his opposition to a COVID relief package widely supported by the American public, after Johnson demanded that the entire 600-page bill be read on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Johnson's procedural move will likely add 10 hours to the 20 hours already allotted for debate, during which Republicans will propose amendments to force uncomfortable votes for Democrats. Schumer promised that the Senate will stay in session "no matter how long it takes" to finish voting on the $1.9 trillion rescue package.

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What central bank digital currencies mean for crypto

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, represent the ultimate ratification of digital finance: Its adoption by the most venerated guardians of the international monetary architecture.

Why it matters: Crypto-evangelists often talk about CBDCs in awed terms. But it's far from clear that the bitcoin-and-ethereum crowd would ultimately benefit from money going digital.