(Bloomberg) --

Nigeria’s central bank has blocked access to foreign exchange for corn imports as it seeks to boost local farming output.

All authorized dealers must immediately stop processing requests for hard currency used for the importation of corn, the central bank said Monday in a statement on its website. This is to “increase local production, stimulate a rapid economic recovery, safeguard rural livelihoods and increase jobs” that were lost due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The West African nation’s system of multiple exchange rates means that some importers will still be able to access dollars on the parallel market, at a much higher rate. That could push up the price of corn, adding to food inflation that’s already at a two-year high of 15%.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.