New agribusiness prof to evaluate ag policy and producer decision-making
Dr. Mostafa Shartaj joined the Department of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics as Assistant Professor in Resource and Environmental Economics on August 21, 2023. Mostafa completed his bachelor and masters program in Bangladesh before coming to North America to complete his PhD at Colorado State University. He is excited to bring together his interests in economic research and analysis with his work in environment to explore agricultural and environmental policy development.
Tell us about yourself.
I completed my BBA and MSc from North South University in Bangladesh. During my masters, I worked as a research assistant on multiple projects for a couple of my professors in Bangladesh. In 2018, I moved to the US to start my PhD at Colorado State University (CSU). I really loved the PhD program. It allowed me to immerse myself in empirical research, which I really enjoyed. During my PhD, I worked on research related to topics in outdoor recreation, groundwater management, and conservation practice adoption. Prior to joining the University of Manitoba, I also worked as a research associate at CSU. In that position, I collaborated with the National Wildlife Research Center to work on evaluating the impact of invasive wild pigs on the agricultural sector in the US.
Why did you get into this area of study?
I would say that it was a mix of many things. I consider myself lucky to have received the support and encouragement of many people throughout my life. My mentors in Bangladesh motivated me towards the PhD degree. My mentors at CSU played a pivotal role in inspiring me to work in academia. My mother also played a crucial role in supporting and encouraging me throughout my journey. I always enjoyed economic research and analysis, but it was with their guidance and encouragement that I really learned to apply my talents.
What are you seeking to explore with your research?
A large part of my research is focused on how producers make dynamic decisions about adoption, investment, resource usage, crop choices, and land use. This involves finding empirical evidence on how producers respond to various incentives and interventions. I also work on evaluating the direct and indirect impacts of policies and programs in the agricultural sector. Understanding producers’ incentives can play a major role in promoting sustainable agriculture, which makes this an important area of study. Additionally, a robust empirical evaluation of existing policies can help support an evidence-based approach to devising agricultural and environmental policy.
Will you be teaching? What appeals to you about being a teacher?
Yes, I will be teaching as well. This semester I am teaching ABIZ 3550 Environmental Policy. The most appealing part about teaching is that it allows me to think about how we can make environmental policy more engaging and relevant for students. It feels super rewarding to teach when students are interested in the subject matter.
What you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I like cooking. Lately, I have been trying to cook Bangladeshi food.