Sub-Saharan Africa is likely to hold large numbers of very poor rural people in the near future unless sustainable intervention measures are undertaken. Although both history and theory point to the important role of agriculture in poverty reduction, such growth today faces even more difficulties. This study uses a probit model on a sample of 600 smallholder farmers to establish factors that influence probability of households escaping chronic poverty. Results show that access to micro-credit, education, participation in agricultural seminars, livestock assets and location in high potential areas significantly influence the probability of households exiting chronic poverty. On the other hand, female gender and distance to the market increases the probability of persistence in chronic poverty. Present findings reveal that micro-credit access, gender, education and market access are key determinants of exit from rural poverty. Therefore through intensified micro-credit provision, education, women empowerment via legal rights to property and improvement of rural access roads, the poverty status could be ameliorated.