The Duke MINERVA Team welcomes you to the site for our project, “A Global Value Chain Analysis of Food Security and Food Staples for Major Energy-Exporting Nations in the Middle East and North Africa”, which is part of the Department of Defense MINERVA Initiative.  This site will allow you to find out more about the research we are doing including viewing reports and maps and downloading data.


Research Summary

Research Problem:

Civil unrest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has periodically affected oil and gas exports from the region, helping to drive global surges in fuel prices, and in turn food prices. If future food price spikes last too long, they could exacerbate social unrest in MENA that leads to regional conflict and widespread malnutrition/starvation.


MENA countries are highlighted in red on the global scale and labeled.

MENA countries are highlighted in red on the global scale and labeled.



Our goal is to identify the energy-exporting countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) whose grain imports are at most risk to insecurity. These grains form a major source of the caloric needs for the peoples in this region and include rice, wheat and corn. We have identified and quantified the supply chains for these staples to determine their structure, size and scope, the players involved in them, and the drivers governing their operation, including market forces, environmental change, internal politics, and external geopolitics with other nations. The analysis includes the development of a database that is integrated with GIS so that spatial information on the supply chains can be mapped and analyzed geographically. The data and supply chain models are being used in scenario analyses to identify specific risks to the supply chains and suggest prioritized defensive and/or proactive strategies to deal with problems arising from food shortages in MENA. If successful, our approach should provide a framework for conducting similar security analyses involving trade in commodities elsewhere in the world.




If you have any questions about the site, please email the webmaster (dh141@duke.edu) or see contact information on the About Us & Contacts page.