In a visit to India, Navi Radjou came across many "rural" innovations and wonders "Can they scale?". It is rather ironic that these are idealistic, romantic, "rural" innovators and NOT generic run-of-the-mill entrepreneurs out to make money.!!
I have little patience for such patronizing do-gooder's romantic pet projects that do not meet the simple test of markets i.e consumer acceptance and business viability.
Navi suggests "What is missing is a mechanism to cross-pollinate and scale up these bright ideas among India's 250-million-strong agricultural community which lives scattered across more than 600,000 villages"
The obvious answer has to be "THE MARKET MECHANISM". The perfect mechanism is "profit motive" combined with this strange and wonderful mechanism called "markets" that automatically connects to utility to consumers. Unless one can show market failure and/or social barriers. And if it works why leave city dwellers out of benefiting from these innovations.
The list of silly projects is long "Simputer", OLPC $100 Laptop, usually run by academicians, specialize in guilt tripping and clamour for government subsidies.