Although many countries have made significant progress in the last decade, poverty and malnutrition continue to be major problems in Sub‐Saharan Africa. Experts estimate that rising food prices have driven about 44 million people into poverty in developing countries since June 2010, as food costs continue to rise. Innovation adoption is key to increasing farm productivity. This necessited this study on innovation adoption, farm productivity and poverty status of rural smallholder farm households in South-Eastern Nigeria. This was premised on the fact that increasing agricultural productivity can increase food availability and access as well as rural incomes as the rural areas are home to 75 percent of Africa’s population, most of whom count agriculture as their major source of income. Data collected using structured questionnaire and interview schedules were analyzed using descriptive statistical tools such as frequency tables, percentages, regression analysis and Chow’s test statistic. Result of data analysis revealed that the most adopted innovations/technologies were use of inorganic fertilizer, improved seed, terracing, crop residue recycling, crop rotation and use animal waste. The significant factors influencing adoption of the innovations/technologies were gender, age, years of formal education attainment, household income, extension contact and membership of cooperative. The Chow’s test revealed that innovation/technology adoption have significant and positive impact on farm productivity. Also, the study revealed improved livelihood or better welfare for innovation adopters than for non-adopters. Therefore, efforts at increasing farm productivity and reducing poverty among farm households should involve policies that would encourage the households to embrace or step up adoption of agricultural innovations should be put in place. This should involve educating and enlightening the farm households on the benefits of these innovation. In this respect, agricultural extension services should be strengthened to provide the informal training that helps to unlock the natural talents and inherent enterprising qualities of the farm households, enhancing his ability to understand and evaluate new production techniques/innovations leading to increased farm productivity and incomes with concomitant reduction in poverty.