Agreeing on a definition of poverty is central to producing valid and reliable measures. Defining poverty, and a normative adequate standard of living, also carries practical significance for targeting assistance and tracking outcomes. Common measures like Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Gini coefficient are aggregates and cannot differentiate the global poor from the non-poor, nor were they intended to.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), over 60% of people in Sub-Saharan Africa depend on the agricultural sector for their livelihoods. The FAO also reports that approximately three-quarters of those living below the poverty line live in rural, primarily agricultural, areas. Despite the importance of agriculture, many rural and agricultural households lack access to financial products and services that would allow them to build assets, invest in technology, increase productivity, and cope with shocks such as droughts.