MANY farmers who left their homes and farms in Naitasiri after the political upheaval of 2000 have returned.
The farmers of Muainaweni suffered huge losses when their crops and livestock were stolen by people who had made parliament their home for a few weeks in the year 2000.
Following the thefts and other crimes against families, there was a mass migration of farmers to other parts of Fiji, leaving behind the farms and other belongings.
Police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said the establishment of the Muainaweni Community Post at the end of 2000 saw the beginning of a new life for farmers there.
"Even though the community post was up and running, farmers who had left earlier were still reluctant to return because of the heavy losses they had suffered," he said.
"The main turning point was two years ago when some farmers started returning after they saw the improvement in the security situation in the area."
Insp Sokomuri said the majority of farmers who left had returned and the area was thriving economically now.
Muainaweni Community Post officer-in-charge, Sergeant Trisa Nakaulevu said the farmers were monitoring the security situation in Muainaweni all the time even though they were living elsewhere.
Sgt Nakaulevu said many of the farmers returned but they did not farm their land immediately, fearing their crops would be stolen again.
"That is when police officers based here in Muainaweni took it on ourselves that the unfortunate events or history of this place will not be repeated," she said.
"The vast majority of farmers who had left have returned and the fields here in Muainaweni are full of dalo and vegetables just like before.
"The total economic value of this place is about $2million, that is the value of crops that are sold off from this place."
Sgt Nakaulevu leads five other police officers in maintaining law and order in Muainaweni.
"I want to show other women in the Fiji Police Force that we can do good or better than men in whatever we do.
"And I want to thank the Commissioner of Police, Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua for opening up opportunities for women in the force," she said.