The Indonesia government has from the beginning of the National Development Program placed great emphasis on the development of the agricultural sector. In 1959 it set up PT Pupuk Sriwidjaja (PUSRI) in Palembang, South Sumatra, marking the start of the Indonesian fertilizer industry. PUSRI was one of three special projects launched by the government at that time, the other two being a steel iron project and a rayon project.
Agriculture was given first priority in the First Long Term Development Plan (PJPT I) as part of the government effort to achieve food self that sufficiency. An agricultural intensification program called Panca Usaha Tani was launched to this effect to achieve the objective through better soil management, irritation, use of high-yield varieties, fertilization and pest control. The program proved a great success, sharply increasing agricultural output.
To meet growing requirements, more fertilizer plants were built in the 1970, including three more plants in Palembang, another three in Bontang, East Kalimantan, two in Lhokseumawe, Aceh, and one in Cikampek, West Java, all producing urea; and three AS (ZA) and two TSP fertilizer plants in Gresik, East Java. In 1994, yet two more urea plants were built, one in Palembang and other in Gresik. Last year the government approved the construction of three more urea plants, one each in Bontang, Cikampek and Lhokseumawe. To organize all of the fertilizer industries, APPI (Indonesian Fertilizer Producers Association) was established on May 26th, 1970.