AiThority Interview with Ramsey Masri, Chief Executive Officer at Ceres Imaging
Hi Ramsey. Welcome to our Interview Series. Please tell us a little bit about your role and responsibilities in your current company. How did you arrive at Ceres Imaging?
As CEO at Ceres, I help chart our strategic direction and lead the execution of this vision. Over the last decade, the Ceres team has built an incredible suite of AI-driven technologies backed by a large proprietary data set and strong market traction across four continents. I joined the company from a previous role in the insurtech space. As a former grape grower myself, I understand first-hand how climate change is creating uncertainty across the agricultural supply chain and the need for new approaches to risk management.
What is Ceres Imaging, and what are your core offerings?
Ceres Imaging is an agricultural data analytics company that builds AI-driven solutions to protect yield risk and advance climate resiliency. Our core offerings include risk based models for insurers and lenders, portfolio management solutions for large agricultural land owners, and measurement and reporting solutions for sustainability partners.
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What is the driving force behind your data analytics platform for Agriculture?
Our analytics capabilities are powered by our proprietary dataset of 11 billion plant-level measurements across 40 crop types. Unlike other companies that look at pixels, we build digital models of billions of individual plants, analyzing key crop characteristics like nutrient levels, transpiration, and crop health. This clean and highly accurate data set has been validated by over 30 research collaborations and is the foundation of our AI models that do things like yield risk prediction and crop type identification.
What are the unique benefits of using analytics for the world’s oldest occupation?
Agriculture is one of the world’s most complicated and unpredictable markets, and these uncertainties are disproportionately amplified by climate change. Analytics helps agricultural businesses focus on things that can be controlled, such as precise farm data, near real-time responsiveness to in field health conditions, and targeted intervention recommendations to protect yield and profitability. The implications are profound. We consistently see yields increase by 8% while reducing water, fertilizer, and pesticide use. Insurers can better source preferred risk and optimize indemnity calculations often by 5%. Large agricultural land owners can allocate their investment capital to the highest ROI capital improvements to increase the value of their assets.
How do lenders and insurers leverage your analytic dashboards and report-generation tools for building long-term strategies?
Our core offering for lenders and insurers is our Risk Solutions product suite which helps power the next generation of risk based pricing models. Ceres analyzes fields using our patented computer vision techniques producing precise crop inventory reports. We identify key crop progression milestones like emergence and harvest, as well as surface yield risks, often weeks before the human eye or other field sensors can detect anomalies. These data points help lenders and insurers underwrite risk and source preferred risk profiles.
In the event of a crop failure, Ceres can quickly and accurately ascertain the damage and produce a Claims report for perils including wind damage, flood, and hail. This timely capability compresses the first notification of loss time frame and allows the carrier to accurately compute the payout or loss amount.
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Could you provide insights into one of your customer case applications?
Our damage assessment product is a very intuitive example of our work in action. When a major hail storm rolled through Minnesota, our technology was used to quickly and precisely measure the impact of the hail damage as well as provide detailed sampling plans that accurately reflect impacts to crop condition and health. In one example, we identified an estimated $60/acre preventable overpayment on a hail claim.
You are/ were at the World Agritech Summit. What are your key takeaways from the event?
I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel on De-Risking Finance to Transform Agricultural Production. The event validated our thesis that there is a real need in the market for highly accurate data sets to power AI models across the ag value chain. From sustainability reporting to farmland acquisitions, the need for clean, scalable, and integrated data is more critical than ever. Likewise, in agriculture insurance and lending space in particular, the most common theme I heard was the importance of high-quality, actuarially sound insights.
Do you think AI augments the human experience in agriculture? What is the future of AI in agriculture?
I think AI may be the most important technology impacting agriculture since the Haber-Bosch process in the early 20th century. AI empowers the entire agricultural value chain, from farmer to buyer, equipment manufacturer to the insurer. As Ceres’ data set continues to grow, I see firsthand how AI-based insights, from disease risk predictions to harvest timing identification, will soon be embedded in almost every aspect of farming. Ultimately, this will result in significant resource use efficiency gains and higher profitability.
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Your take on the future of AI-driven solutions for sustainable agriculture practices:
At Ceres, our company vision is sustainable agriculture that works for farmers. We believe sustainability is a core area within farming where AI will be critical to success. Today, AI helps measure soil carbon, verify sustainable farming practices at a global scale, and provide targeted recommendations to help farmers reduce their use of fertilizers and increase their water use efficiency. Our one-third of global greenhouse emissions and is the driving force behind massive deforestation and biodiversity loss. We believe the demand for AI-driven sustainable farming technologies will continue to surge.
Thank you, Luke! That was fun and we hope to see you back on AiThority.com soon.
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CEO of Ceres Imaging, Ramsey Masri’s experience spans financial services, data analytics, and agribusiness. A longtime California grape grower himself, Masri keenly understands the increasing unpredictability facing the agriculture industry—and the potential of data-driven solutions to transform risk management practices across the agricultural value chain. Before joining Ceres Imaging in 2022, Masri led and expanded international teams in South America, Asia Pacific, and Europe and most recently served as Chief Operating Officer at Zendrive.
At Ceres Imaging, we build AI-driven agriculture solutions that protect yield and advance climate resiliency. We believe the future of agriculture depends on building the right tools to help farmers, insurers, lenders and sustainability partners make the most of their limited resources using our risk based models.
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