The Dutch East India Company brought potatoes to West Java around 1795, and within 15 years the kentang holanda (or "Dutch tuber") was being grown by Batak farmers in the highlands of northern Sumatra.
Today, Indonesia is the biggest potato producer in southeast Asia. Between 1960 and the mid-1990s, the country's potato output grew at a rate of almost nine percent per year, and since 2003 annual production has averaged more than one million tonnes. Potato is cultivated throughout the archipelago, in highlands areas of between 800 and 1 800 m, mainly by small scale farmers.
Potato growers are largely dependent on seed tubers imported from Germany and the Netherlands.
While some potatoes are grown for export, mainly in northern Sumatra, the bulk of Indonesia's potato harvest is destined for fresh consumption in large urban areas. Indonesia imported some 32 000 tons of potatoes in 2006 mainly for processing into food products.