This was stated by Dr K M Bujorbaruah, VC, AAU in his welcome speech at the 45th foundation day of the university. Other agricultural universities on the list were GB Pant University of Agriculture, Punjab Agricultural University, Choudhury Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.
Meghalaya Governor Ranjit Sekhar Mooshahary who was the chief guest of the function, touched upon every aspect of agricultural education in this region. He particularly laid emphasis on involvement of the young generation in the agricultural sector. He said a major challenge for Indian agriculture is the emergence of a noticeable disinterest amongst rural youths to continue in the farm sector.
The main reasons are low income, inadequate access to inputs, uncertainty of crops, non-remunerative prices, absence of risk mitigation, physical drudgery and lack of social recognition. It is a major challenge to get them an assured income and make their lives compatible with the organised sectors in the urban areas. He stressed luring the youths back to agriculture as a lucrative enterprise through its modernisation by use of mechanised tools and state-of-the art farm technologies.
The Meghalaya Governor also conferred the late Dharmananda Das Memorial Award 2012 on Manishankar Mallik, the best graduate in Tea Science from the university. The award carries a cash amount of Rs 20,000 and a citation.