Pre-sale tobacco deliveries to the auction floors have started at a very slow pace with officials at all the three floors attributing the sluggish start to the threat posed by the rains. Boka Tobacco Floors chief executive Ms Rudo Boka said they were receiving numerous booking calls from farmers but transporters were reluctant to ferry the crop citing the risk of having the crop ruined by the rains.
"Most farmers are still monitoring developments in the weather and will start delivering as soon as the rains show signs of clearing," said Ms Boka.
"Most transporters do not have tarpaulins to protect the tobacco from rains so they are reluctant to be hired when there are signs of rains."
Many farmers, she said, would start rushing just a few days before the opening of the floors when they would be sure their produce would be stored briefly before being marketed.
At Tobacco Sales Floor the situation was the same with farmers trickling in occasionally- something the authorities at the floor also attributed to fears of possible rains.