Agriculture has always been the mainstay of our people and we have been tilling the land and reaping the harvests for hundreds of years. This naturally found us in a situation where the land was becoming less and less bountiful. The yield was getting lower and lower and in the early half of 20th century we found we had to depend on imports to meet our minimum food grain requirement. The simple truth that land had been losing its fertility through long years of repeated cultivation dawned on us much too late. What we were putting back in the form of organic manure was hardly adequate to replenish the soil or to correct the imbalance on the fertility status of the land under cultivation. Advanced countries elsewhere had discovered the answer to this problem in chemical fertilisers and some of the large scale farming entrepreneurs like foreign owned plantations in India also were importing chemical fertilisers for their own use.
The Second World War which cut off traditional sources of import of food grains aggravated our problem and the famine conditions that prevailed in some parts of the country made us sit up and think. Chemical fertiliser was the answer, but we did not have the technical know-how, raw materials or the resources for setting up fertiliser plants. It was then that a daring and farsighted administrator of Travancore (Kerala), Dr. C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer, had overcome the obstacles and paved the way for setting up a chemical fertiliser factory, in a till then unheard village in Kerala with what little resource that was available then and adopting technology and raw materials that could be mustered up. The immediate objective was to grow more food using the wonder replenisher, chemical fertiliser. This was how FACT came to be founded in what is now known as Udyogamandal, on the banks of river Periyar in 1944. It was then the first large scale fertiliser factory in the entire country.
FACT was fortunate enough to have very illustrious persons to lead it during its onward journey.
Shri M.K.K Nair was the MD of FACT from 1960 to 1971. He was the longest serving CMD and it was during his tenure that a new Ammonium Sulphate plant, FACT Engineering and Design Organisation (FEDO) and FACT Engineering Works (FEW) were set up and the work on the establishment of another production unit in Ambalamedu, FACT Cochin Division was started.
FACT has since then grown, expanded and branched out so that today it is not merely one of the biggest fertiliser enterprises in the country, but also a legend of the modern times and a triumph of the Public Sector.