The Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and the Promotion of Employment Modeste Kérékou has been touring the production units since Thursday, March 11 … This is to discuss with business managers on their activities, difficulties and employment development prospects.
It was the Alpha-Bénin company located in the Sèmè-Podji free economic zone which hosted last Thursday the delegation led by the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and the Promotion of Employment, Modeste Kèrékou and the Director General from the Investment and Export Promotion Agency, Laurent Gangbès. Alpha-Bénin is an agrifood company based in Semè-Podji and known for its leadership in the production of Matanti pasta. It is the only pasta production industry in Benin. Alpha-Bénin produces an average of 25,000 to 30,000 tonnes of pasta per year.
A superior quality edible paste, made from 100% wheat, hard, recognized and certified by several European laboratories. This company has nearly 300 employees with the prospect of expanding to 600 jobs for a production of 50,000 tonnes if the Beninese market improves … And for that to happen, challenges remain. According to the promoter of Alpha-Benin, Fatme Zein Rihard, the Beninese market is dynamic but unfair competition and the invasion of imported products reduce the business opportunities of local producers. “We are competing with products that come from outside … Imported products are subsidized from the outset and therefore are not sold at the real price. According to the standards, these products once inside a country should have their costs readjusted to the local market, “she observes. According to her, regulation is needed so that products from outside are not cheaper than local products.
It is about safeguarding national production and preserving the health of consumers. Fatme Zein Rihard also mentions the high cost of electric power as a factor raising the cost of local production. In view of the resilience of Alpha-Benin, Minister Modeste Kérékou encouraged the company for the efforts made and the sacrifices made on a daily basis. He reaffirmed to the promoter the government’s ambitions for the revival of the local economy and production. Taking note of the grievances and suggestions made, Minister Modeste Kérékou assured of the government’s willingness to support businesses, in this case those that produce locally. He also insisted on the quality and safety standards which must remain in place.