The Department of dairy development in Kerala came into existence in 1962 with the prime objective of augmenting milk production and consumption in the state. Now the Department not only considers the sector to as employment opportunity of the farmers but also to ensure safe milk for consumption according to the requirements. The Dairy Development Department of the state is the nodal agency for fodder development activities in the state.The major activities to augment milk production include rural dairy extension and advisory services, Organization of Dairy co-operatives, Strengthening of Dairy co-operatives in the state, undertaking Fodder development programmes, Milk Shed Development programme, Cattle feed subsidy scheme, assistance to indebted farmers of the state,  extending assistance to PSU’s like KCMMF, Regional Unions etc., assisting NGO’s like Brahmagiri Development Society, Wayanad, assistance to Kerala Dairy Farmers Welfare Fund Board..

Besides these the Department also carries out statutory functions under the Kerala Co-operative Societies act, 1969.  The Department is carrying out quality control activities at producer’s level and consumer’s level to ensure that safe and good quality milk is being produced at farm level and also to ensure that superior quality milk reaches the consumers at end point. The Department functions in tandem with the Food Safety and Standards Authorities to ensure the quality of milk procured, stored, processed and sold in the state.

The state presently has 162 Dairy Extension Service Units, 14 Quality Control Units, One NABL accredited State Dairy Lab for testing milk, milk products, cattle feed and water, Three Regional Dairy Labs, Six Dairy Training Centres, One State Fodder Farm and 3634 Dairy Co-operative Societies (including APCOS and NON APCOS). There are3.78 lakh registered dairy farmers in the state. It is estimated that about 20 - 21% of the milk produced in the state is handled by the Dairy Co-operative Sector. During the financial year 2017-18, 6.79 lakh MT of milk was collected by DCS while the estimated milk production in the state is around 27 lakh MT during the financial year 2017-18. Palakkad, Wayanad and Thiruvananthapuram lead the districts in regard to milk collection at Dairy Co-operative Level.