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Abstract, Agronomía Mesoamericana, 2017

The objective of this study was to assess the knowledge on cover crops and native vegetation mulches and the willingness to implement them by papaya, oil palm, and banana producers in Costa Rica. An evaluation instrument with twenty eight questions to be answered as true or false was developed, and it was used to yield a knowledge indicator. Seven additional questions with responses on a scale from 0 to 5 were included to explore producers’ willingness to implement cover crops or native vegetation mulches on their farms. The evaluation was completed in 2014, and was filled out by 36 papaya producers, 30 oil palm producers, and 57 banana producers. Item analyses to determine reliability produced Cronbach’s alpha values above 90%. For this study a factors analysis was performed in order to determine the measurement of one single variable, knowledge on cover crops and native vegetation mulches. Global knowledge scores varied significantly between producer groups. Banana producers assessments yielded the highest mean with the lowest variability, whereas papaya producers had the lower mean and the highest variability. Likewise, answers to each of the questions differed importantly between producer groups. It was also determined that producers of these crops are willing to implement and get training on cover crops and native vegetation mulches.