Cooperative sector contributed to the development of the district in a major way. It helped provide economic aid to the tribes as well as to the settlers of the region. The operation of the nationalised, commercial cooperative banks cannot be left unmentioned as they make their presence felt even in the remote areas of the district.
There are more than 300 cooperative institutions in Wayanad and they include cooperative banks, SC-ST cooperative societies, agriculture marketing societies, labour contract societies etc. A labour contract society is working towards the uplift of Adivasis too. Cooperative colleges and other educational institutions in this sector too contribute to the development of the region.
There are three major cooperative societies which proved highly successful in the development of the area. The first one, Mananthavady Tribal Plantations Cooperative Ltd (Priyadarshini Tea Estate) contributes much to the tea production and marketing, while the South Wayanad Joint Farming Cooperative Society (Sugandhagiri Cardamom Project ) focuses on cardamom production and distribution. Wayanad Coffee Marketing Cooperative Society is another society which has proved to be highly successful in its coffee marketing measures and approaches.